Canada scraps pre-departure COVID test requirement from 1 April

From 1 April 2022, fully vaccinated travellers to Canada no longer need to take a pre-departure test.

Canada has become the latest country to eliminate pre-departure testing, with fully vaccinated travellers no longer required to take a test from 1 April 2022 onwards. 

Today, the Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.

Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test.

-Government of Canada

While random testing of arrivals to track the emergence of COVID-19 variants will continue, for the vast majority, travel to Canada will soon be completely testing free.

Canada scraps pre-departure test requirement for vaccinated travellers

No more testing for vaccinated travellers heading to Canada

Currently, travellers to Canada are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test, which can be either:

  • A PCR test taken within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time to Canada
  • A professionally-administered ART taken within one day  of the scheduled departure time to Canada

Alternatively, recovered travellers can present a positive PCR test result taken at least 10 and no more than 180 days before entering Canada. Children under 5 years of age are exempt from the testing requirement.

From 1 April 2022, the pre-departure test requirement will be scrapped for all fully vaccinated travellers, regardless of origin. Random COVID-19 testing may still be done on arrival. However, this will be free of charge, and there will be no need to quarantine while awaiting for the rest result. 

Travellers to Canada must complete ArriveCAN (which requires uploading proof of vaccination) within 72 hours of their departure, and present an ArriveCAN receipt with the letter I, V or A beside their name.

Which vaccines are recognised?

Canada recognises the following vaccines:

  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273)
  • Novavax (NVX-COV2373, Nuvaxovid, Covovax)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2) including for children aged 5 to 11 years
  • Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must have received, at least 14 calendar days by the day you travel:

  • at least 2 doses of a vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel
  • or a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
  • or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine

There is no booster requirement at the moment. 

Singapore-Canada travel: Total testing costs

⚕️ Testing: Singapore-Canada Travel
LocationRemarksPrice
🇨🇦 Canada2 days before departure (ART/PCR)C$79*
(~S$85)
🇸🇬 SingaporeWithin 24h of arrival (self-ART)~S$5*
*Children aged 2 and under exempt

From 1 April 2022, round-trip travellers from Singapore to Canada will only need to do two COVID-19 tests, both of which are required by the Singapore side. 

A pre-departure antigen test at Vancouver airport will cost C$79, so travellers can expect to pay ~S$90 in total per person for testing. 

VTL flights from Canada

Singapore Airlines resumed service to Canada with flights to Vancouver in December 2021, ending a 12-year absence. This was initially designated as a seasonal route, but has since been upgraded to year-round operation. 

Travellers can take any flight they wish to Canada, but must return to Singapore on a VTL flight in order to avoid a 7-day SHN on arrival. 

The following VTL flights are operated from Vancouver:

  • Till 26 March 2022: SQ27, SQ29
  • From 27 March to 31 May 2022: SQ27
  • From 2 June to 29 October 2022: SQ47
Spontaneous Escapes

If you’re looking to redeem miles, do note that Vancouver is currently available on Spontaneous Escapes, with Economy and Business Class awards going at 30% off. 

 EconomyBusinessFlights
SIN to YVRN/A95,000
66,500
SQ28
Blackout dates: 26-31 May 2022
YVR to SIN38,000
26,600
95,000
66,500
SQ27
Blackout dates: N/A

VTL travel to Singapore

✔️ VTL Eligibility Criteria
All
Short-term visitors & Work permit holders
*Children aged 2 or under in the current calendar year are exempt
^Exception for children aged 12 and below, if they are accompanied by vaccinated traveller

VTL travellers to Singapore are required to take a pre-departure ART/PCR test within 2 days of departure to Singapore, as well as a designated VTL flight.

On arrival, they must perform a self-administered ART within 24 hours of arrival and report the result via sync.gov.sg before proceeding with their activities in Singapore:

  • Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPHs) with SingPass accounts should login to Sync with SingPass to submit results 
  • LTPHs and short-term visitors without SingPass accounts should login to Sync with their passport number, date of birth and nationality to submit results

Fully vaccinated individuals can be exempted from all pre-departure tests, on-arrival tests and the need to take a VTL flight to Singapore with acceptable proof of a COVID-19 infection/recovery within the last 90 days. 

Big news: No more SHN, testing or “14-day stranding” for recently-recovered vaccinated travellers to Singapore

While complicated, the VTL is already living on borrowed time, and it’s highly likely we’ll see a simplified system soon based purely on vaccination status. 

Conclusion

Canada will be scrapping its pre-departure test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from 1 April 2022. This restores travel to more or less pre-COVID conditions, although random testing on arrival is still possible.

It ties in nicely with Singapore Airlines’ discounted awards for travel to Vancouver in April and May. Be sure to check these deals out in my Spontaneous Escapes article.

Will 2022 be the year where pesky testing requirements finally disappear for vaccinated travellers? Let’s hope.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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