Government of Canada will remove COVID-19 testing requirement for air travellers arriving from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao

News release

March 16, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect the health and safety of Canadians, the Government of Canada has taken a prudent and measured approach to adjusting border measures. On January 5, 2023, in response to the surge of COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China and given the limited data available at that time on those cases, the Government of Canada put in place temporary pre-departure test requirements for air travellers entering Canada from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao. Today, the Government of Canada announced it will remove those temporary measures.

As of 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 17, 2023, air travellers to Canada on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao will no longer be required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 test result before boarding. This means that there will no longer be any federal COVID-19 border measures in place after that time.  

Since Canada and other countries put in place temporary border measures in January 2023, data from China, the international community, and wastewater sampling conducted in Canada, have not detected any new variants of concern. In addition, the COVID-19 situation in both China and Canada has improved, and the Canadian healthcare systems remain stable.

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to recommend that individuals wear well-constructed and well-fitted masks during their travel on planes and in airports, or other crowded indoor settings. Individuals should not travel if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The Government of Canada continues to work with international partners to enhance sequencing capacity and closely monitors the global epidemiology of COVID-19 and emerging novel variants of concern. The Government of Canada will not hesitate to adjust measures to protect the health and safety of people in Canada, should it be required.


“Canada’s COVID-19 border measures continue to be informed by available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation and response capacity domestically and internationally. In January 2023, temporary border measures were put in place to protect the health and safety of everyone in Canada. New data and evidence has now allowed us to end those measures. While this is good news, we need to remain vigilant. We should all complete our COVID-19 vaccine series and additional recommended doses, and continue to do all that we can to protect ourselves and those around us.” 

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Safeguarding the health and safety of Canadians is always at the forefront of any decision our government makes. While we are encouraged that the epidemiological situation has improved in both China and Canada, and that temporary test requirements for air travellers put in place in early 2023 can now be lifted, we know we must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants. We will continue to make decisions based on the best public health advice and will adjust our measures accordingly to keep travellers, transportation workers and our transportation system safe and secure.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“As the pandemic has evolved, so has our response. The dedicated employees of the Canada Border Services Agency are our country’s front line, and I want to thank them for working with public health authorities to keep everyone safe. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will adapt as necessary, because that’s what Canadians expect.”

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety

The pandemic has evolved but we must continue to remain vigilant. Canada has helped lead a robust international response to COVID-19, supporting countries to increase access to vaccines, tests and treatments for those most at risk around the world. Canada remains committed to working with global partners to reinforce health systems and enhance preparedness for the future.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Individuals in Canada who plan to travel abroad should complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada, at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Travellers are encouraged to check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for their destination. These pages contain country-specific information on health risks, safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, and other important travel information.

  • At present, there is a Level 2 travel health notice for COVID-19 related to travel to all countries. Travellers should remember to make informed decisions when considering travel outside of Canada and are advised to maintain enhanced health precautions and practice public health measures at ports of entry. 

  • At any time, Canadians can sign up with theRegistration of Canadians abroad serviceto receive important messages from Global Affairs Canada, in case of an emergency.

Associated links


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Valérie Glazer 
Director of Communications and Issues
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Media Relations
Global Affairs Canada

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