Statement on the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel's Report: Priority Strategies to Optimize Testing and Quarantine at Canada's Borders
May 27, 2021|Ottawa, ON|Public Health Agency of Canada / Canada Border Services Agency
The Government of Canada welcomes the report on border testing and quarantine measures from the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel, issued on May 27, 2021, and thanks the members for their important work.
Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world. Travellers are required to complete a pre-arrival molecular test, as well as tests on arrival and later during their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travellers must submit their travel information through ArriveCAN, including their contact information, 14-day travel history, and symptom self-assessment. Air travellers must also submit proof of having reserved and paid for their mandatory stay at a government-authorized hotel while they await the results of their on-arrival test. Travellers who do not follow these measures face significant penalties.
Current data shows that these requirements are working. There has been a 96% reduction in air traffic and 90% reduction in non-commercial land traffic into Canada compared to pre-pandemic volumes. Compliance rates are more than 99% and average positivity rates since the start of arrival testing in February 2021 for those arriving by land (0.3%) and air (1.7%) remain very low. The majority of individuals crossing at the land ports of entry are essential service providers, such as truck drivers and nurses.
The Government of Canada will continue to monitor and review all available data and scientific evidence to inform future border and travel measures, and will be prudent in its approach, keeping the health and safety of Canadians top of mind. The Government of Canada will also consider the Panel's recommendations to determine how testing and quarantine strategies should evolve to address vaccination status.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
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