Travel Advisory: Limited exceptions to border measures in British Columbia

News release

December 22, 2021             Vancouver, British Columbia           Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency would like to remind travellers that border measures remain in place for travellers entering or returning to Canada and that they should get informed and understand their obligations as they make their travel plans.

As of December 21, unless specifically exempted, all travellers must take a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test before arriving in Canada, regardless of how long they were away.

  • Tests taken in-Canada will no longer be accepted. In other words, the pre-entry test must be performed in a country other than Canada within 72 hours of arrival at the land border or within 72 hours of a scheduled flight departure.
  • Travellers must either have a negative pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Canada or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada.
  • Antigen tests, often called “rapid tests” are not accepted.

The Government of Canada continues to advise all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada at this time. Now is not the time to travel.

In British Columbia:

Given the ongoing situation in British Columbia, certain fully vaccinated B.C. residents will not have to take a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test before coming back to Canada. This refers to residents:

  • who must travel to the U.S. by land to access or purchase goods or services, and
  • who are absent from Canada for no more than 24 hours.

The exemption also applies to unvaccinated children under 12 years of age entering with one of their fully vaccinated parents, step-parents, guardians or tutors and a person with a contraindication to vaccination.

Travellers should ensure they are only within the U.S. for the required period to access or purchase goods and services and return to Canada as soon as possible, without any unnecessary stops. Those who attend social visits, events or functions would therefore not be exempt from the pre-arrival testing requirement. Travellers should also continue to follow all local, provincial/territorial and public health guidance including masking in public, and maintaining social distancing.

All travellers must continue to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN.

Those who cross the border to ensure that essential services and economic supply chains continue, including truck drivers, remain exempted from the pre-entry test, quarantine and in-Canada test, but must continue to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before arriving in Canada.

The Government of Canada understands the significant damage and upheaval that has been caused by the flooding situation in B.C. Should a border services officer determine that the traveller entered the U.S. and does not meet the exemption requirements upon their return to Canada, travellers will be referred to Public Health Agency of Canada officials who will assess next steps and determine the appropriate public health measures the traveller must follow.

Travellers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border.

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Canada Border Services Agency

Twitter @CanBorderPAC.

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