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Negative COVID-19 test required for those flying into Canada

Negative COVID-19 test required for those flying into Canada

4 January 2021: Message sent to Canadians registered on the Registry of Canadians Abroad (ROCA)

The fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation has seen interruptions to travel, in addition to new restrictions implemented and regular changes and updates to advice.

Dear Canadian,

We are contacting you to inform you about a new requirement for those travelling to Canada.

Negative COVID-19 test required for those flying into Canada

Starting January 7, 2021, air travellers 5 years of age or older will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada. See the news release for air travellers.

COVID-19 testing evidence and timeframe

Travellers will be required to provide written or electronic documentation to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada showing they received a negative result from a COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours prior to their scheduled boarding. In other words, the specimen should be within three days prior to the flight, with the expectation that the results will come in the intervening period. *Without a negative COVID-19 test result, travellers will be denied boarding.

Approved COVID-19 testing facilities

The test requirement for entry to Canada must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test from a lab accredited by an external organization (e.g., a government, a professional association or ISO accreditation).

A list of accredited testing facilities which can provide you with a PCR COVID-19 test can be found at:

You should contact your airline to confirm evidence required to present when boarding.

Mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation

Everyone entering Canada must follow mandatory isolation or quarantine requirements (even with a negative COVID-19 test result). We recommend you familiarize yourself with the requirements. Not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offence with consequences and penalties.

Submit your quarantine plan                                                                                                                       As a traveller, you must demonstrate that you have an adequate plan for quarantine. You’re expected to make plans, within your own means, before travelling to Canada.

Canadians and all travellers must use ArriveCAN to submit their:

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan (unless exempted from the mandatory requirement to quarantine)
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessments

More information 


Download the ArriveCAN app now, ready to use at your Canadian port of entry.

Please be aware of the additional requirements if you intend to travel to Canada.

Requirement to wear a non-medical mask or face covering

All air passengers are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose during travel. Passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will be required to present their non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process. Passengers who fail to do so will be denied boarding.

Requirement of temperature screenings

Temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada or travellers departing Canadian airports for either international or domestic destinations are now required.

For international flights to Canada, air operators must conduct temperature screenings at the point of departure, unless the local authority has an equivalent measure in place, in addition to the existing required health check questions for symptoms prior to boarding.                                                                                    

Travel, transit, and keeping up-to-date 

Due to the temporary grounding of direct flights, travelling back to Canada from Australia and the Pacific Island region will require you to transit through another country. Prior to making travel arrangements, we strongly advise you to review transit restrictions that could impact your ability to return to Canada on non-direct flight routes.

If you make arrangements to travel, please stay up to date with the latest transit restrictions and monitor the status of your flights closely (both domestic and international). If you experience any changes to your flights, please contact your airline directly.

If you hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency, please be aware of restrictions on leaving Australia.

Travel insurance

You may wish to contact your travel/health insurance provider to obtain further information on availability and access to a COVID-19 test from an accredited organization while outside Canada.

Do you need consular assistance?

Should you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest office of the Government of Canada. We kindly request you contact us by phone or email in the first instance to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors.

Within Australia, please contact:

The Consulate General of Canada in Sydney

The High Commission of Canada in Canberra

Outside of business hours, contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre at Global Affairs Canada headquarters (24 hours a day, seven days a week) by calling +1 613 996 8885, or email:

Kind regards,

Canada Down Under Team

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Canada Down Under is an on-line portfolio of Canadian-Australian stories produced by the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and other contributors.

Canada Down Under est un portefeuille en ligne d'histoires canado-australiennes produites par le Consulat général du Canada à Sydney et d'autres contributeurs.

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