As COVID-19 case counts have risen and fallen across the globe, along with the emergence of new variants each more contagious than the last, the Canadian government has changed the COVID-19 border entry requirements countless times.
The government has now announced that as of January 5, 2023, all international arrivals from Mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau will need to present a negative COVID-19 molecular or antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure before entering Canada.
COVID-19 Testing Required for China Arrivals
Days after China announced plans to remove all quarantine requirements, Canada has implemented a testing requirement for arrivals from China in response to the local surge in COVID-19 cases.
Beginning January 5, 2023, anyone over two years of age coming from Macau, Hong Kong, or Mainland China will need to show a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight to Canada. This rule only comes into effect when entering Canada by air, and will be checked by the airline prior to boarding.
Travellers may present a negative molecular test, such as a PCR test, or an antigen test that has documentation showing it was monitored by a telehealth service or an accredited laboratory or testing provider.
In lieu of a negative test, travellers may also present a positive COVID-19 test taken at least 10 days, but no more than 90 days, prior to the date of travel.
Canada follows in the footsteps of other countries, such as the United States, Japan, India, South Korea, France, Italy, and Spain, in imposing a pre-travel testing requirement on travellers coming from China.
The government of Canada announced that the pre-travel testing requirement for passengers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be a temporary measure and reassessed in 30 days.
How Effective Are These COVID-19 Testing Requirements?
Now that Canada has loosened all COVID-19 restrictions with no mask rules or any other prevention tactics in place, it’s worth asking the question: what exactly is the point of preventing COVID-19 cases from coming in across the border when it’s already spreading rampantly?
Indeed, it seems strange to reintroduce travel restrictions for COVID-19 if we are heading in the direction of treating it as an endemic disease rather a pandemic.
One reason to implement COVID-19 testing prior to inbound flights could be that the true number of COVID-19 cases in China is relatively…