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Canada will ease entry for fully vaccinated international travellers starting on February 28 as Covid-19 cases decline, allowing a rapid antigen test for travellers instead of a molecular one. The new measures, which include random testing for vaccinated travellers entering Canada, were announced by federal government ministers.
Canada will monitor conditions with an eye on dropping coronavirus testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians who make short trips – less than 72 hours – abroad, usually to the United States, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said. “These changes are possible not only because we have passed the peak of Omicron, but because Canadians across the country have listened to the science and to experts,” Duclos said.
About 80% of Canadians are fully vaccinated and over 40% have also taken a booster dose, according to the health ministry. The global travel advisory for Canadians is also being changed. Previously the government recommended against all non-essential travel, and now it is only urging citizens to take precautions.
“Though the announcement brings us one step closer to where our industry needs to be, in requiring pre-departure rapid antigen tests, the government missed an opportunity to align with other international jurisdictions that removed pre-departure test requirements for fully vaccinated travellers,” the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable industry group said in a statement.
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