Canada will now require anyone entering the country to obtain a negative COVID PCR test within three days before planned arrival.
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic Leblanc announced the requirement in a press conference Wednesday.
The PCR test is an additional requirement that all arrivals to Canada must obtain in addition to completing a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival into the country.
The latest measure is an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the country comes as the US considers expanding COVID-19 testing for international passengers coming from other destinations in addition to the UK, in a bid to increase overseas travel.
Federal agencies have been in discussions with airlines about how to restore international air travel safely amid the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that passengers flying to the US from the UK must test negative for the coronavirus before departing, following the discovery of a new variant of the disease that spreads more rapidly.
“Efforts are currently ongoing in the US to assess the risk reduction associated with testing and other recommended preventative measures, determine what a feasible testing regime for air travel may look like, and gain some level of agreement on standards for a harmonized approach to testing for international air travel,” the CDC said in a statement Wednesday.
Airlines for America, a lobbying group, said it has been “advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to lift travel restrictions” on flyers.
“We are working collaboratively with federal authorities to restore international travel with pre-flight Covid testing,” said Carter Yang, a spokesman for the group.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that it would “continue to work with our government partners as the situation evolves.”
The CDC now recommends that air travelers test negative for the virus one to three days before flying and again three to five days after travel.
The agency says testing is critical to make renewed travel safe and to slow spread of the Covid virus.
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