Feds to lift PCR COVID test requirement for short trips
Published Wednesday, November 17, 2021 12:37PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 17, 2021 3:23PM EST
Canadians making short trips out of the country could soon have an easier time coming back home.
The federal government will be lifting the PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada after short trips, CTV News has confirmed.
The federal government has not released details so far, but has promised an announcement soon about changes to COVID-19 border measures.
“Nov. 21 is the time at which these orders in council must be renewed and with the renewal will come announcements,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Tuesday.
All travellers into Canada– even those who are fully vaccinated – currently have to provide a negative molecular COVID-19 test to enter the country.
The tests cost anywhere from $150 to $300. Antigen tests are cheaper, but are not currently accepted for entry into Canada.
The test will still be required for trips longer than 72 hours. It is not yet clear when the change will take effect.
Word of the impending change comes ahead of the busy holiday shopping season, which typically sees many people hopping over the border to grab deals or for short trips.
The mayors of many border towns have long been calling for changes that would make it easier for vaccinated travellers to come and go across the border.
A rule that allows Canadians to get a PCR test in Canada before they even leave for a same-day trip has further confounded some observers.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said last week that the test requirement was being “actively reviewed.”
Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said “the consensus is a lot of premiers want to see that,” when asked about dropping the testing requirement.
Following a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's premiers on Tuesday night, the Prime Minister's Office said that the border with the United States was discussed along with "further potential adjustments.”
Trudeau arrived in Washington D.C. Wednesday for the trilateral “Three Amigos” summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
-With files from CTV News and The Canadian Press