Canada to require negative COVID-19 test for travellers from China

by EditorL

Travellers walk with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, on Dec. 27, 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

By Limin Zhou

Travellers arriving in Canada from China must present a negative COVID-19 test starting January 5th.

On New Year’s Eve, Canadian government announced that all travellers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao  are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within two days when boarding a Canada-bound plane.

Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before their departure flight, but no more than 90 days, can provide the airline with documentation of their prior positive, in place of a negative test result.

The rules apply to all air travellers regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

Bejing has been accused of covering up COVID data amid new variant fears recently. Chinese authority has only reported 644,671 cases to pathogen database GISAID, a tiny proportion of the 250 million infections estimated by Chinese officials to have occurred around Christmas.

The World Health Organization has been urging Chinese authorities to be more forthcoming with data about the situation, including genetic sequencing data, as well as information on hospitalizations and deaths.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) stated that the temporary measures are put in place for 30 days “in response to the surge of COVID-19” in China and “limited epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data.” The measures  “will be reassessed as more data and evidence becomes available”.

Canadian government’s decision comes as other countries including the United States, UK, Italy and others put in place similar requirements on air travellers coming from mainland China.

PHAC said that it “is putting in place a pilot project on wastewater testing from aircrafts with Vancouver International Airport, and expanding the existing project with Toronto Pearson International Airport, to assess the COVID-19 prevalence from various regions of the world. The samples are then sequenced to monitor for novel variants of concern.”

You may also like