Starting Jan. 5, the federal government will require air travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macao to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken before their departure.
The temporary health measures, in place for 30 days, are a reaction to a surge in the virus in China and the limited epidemiological and other data available, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced Saturday.
The tests must be taken no more than two days before departure and can be either a negative molecular or an antigen test with documentation showing it was overseen by a telehealth service, accredited laboratory or testing provider.
Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days but not exceeding 90 days before their departure can provide the airline that documentation in lieu of a negative result.
China has been accused of not being forthcoming about the virus since it first surfaced — with many worried the country still isn’t sharing data on evolving strains that could lead to new outbreaks.
The U.S., Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Italy have also announced testing requirements.
Canada’s temporary requirement will be in place for all travellers age two and older, regardless of nationality and vaccination status.
After 30 days, the measures will be reassessed as more data and evidence emerges, according to PHAC.