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Negative COVID-19 test to be required at Canada's land borders starting Feb. 15


Travellers arriving to Canada by land will be required to show negative COVID-19 test as of Feb. 15

Requirement for people coming to Canada to show negative PCR test already in place for air travel

Still no word on when measures for mandatory quarantine at government-designated hotel will begin

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Anyone coming into Canada by land will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test starting Feb. 15.

The negative PCR test will have to be taken within 72 hours of the person crossing at the land border.

The requirement is already in place for all international travellers coming into Canada by air.

The new testing requirement at Canada’s land borders was announced last month as the country saw an increase in the number of variant cases.

When asked on Tuesday what would be done if a Canadian showed up at a point of entry without proof of a test, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s not legal to refuse entry to a Canadian.

“What we can do is, in cases of no test to show, apply a stiff penalty, a fine, and demand and ensure a rapid and complete follow up to make sure that they are getting tested, that they are being properly quarantined, that they are not putting at risk the safety of other Canadians by returning home without a clear, negative test,” Trudeau explained.

Trudeau also announced on Jan. 29 that, in the coming weeks, the federal government was bringing in measures that will see all travellers to Canada take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival. As they wait for their test results, travellers will be required to isolate in a government-approved hotel for up to three days at their own expense.

If the traveller’s test comes back negative, they will be allowed to complete their 14-day quarantine at home. If their test comes back positive, they will be required to complete the isolation period at a government-designated facility.

It’s unclear when this quarantine measure will be brought in. The Public Health Agency of Canada listed on Monday its criteria for hotels looking to participate in this travel measure.

Hotel submissions are due on Wednesday. The agency says qualified hotels must be near one of the four airports currently accepting international travel — Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. They must also provide contactless meal delivery to rooms and free WiFi, set up a process for brief outdoor breaks, and report daily check-in and checkout numbers.

Hotels will also be required to report non-compliant guests.

-With files from The Canadian Press