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Canada brings back random Covid testing for arrivals

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If you are planning to fly to Canada this Summer, you need to be aware that random Covid testing has returned for international arrivals at four Canadian airports:

  • Vancouver
  • Calgary
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
Canada brings back Covid testing for arrivals

It is not clear what percentage of passengers will be chosen for testing or whether the decision will be weighted by the perceived risk of origin point of the incoming flight.

Anyone testing positive following a random test will have to undergo 10 days of quarantine.

There is no exemption from random testing for fully vaccinated travellers. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated would, in any case, be placed into 14 day quarantine on arrival.

Testing will not be done at the airport. You will be notified at the airport if you have been selected, and then have until the end of the following calendar day to take a supervised test.

The official details are on the Canadian Government website here.

Comments (89)

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  • Colin Thames says:

    My son is traveling out from Luton in September. I see my DragonPass allows to book at the Aspire Lounge through the app. Is there a way for PP to prebook?

    • Rob says:

      No

      • Colin Thames says:

        Thanks Rob, I suspect that although the DragonPass app seems to allow booking, it might not work. Aspire say on their website that they don’t currently allow pre-booking for DP or PP. I’m wondering whether this situation will ever improve? Used to be able to use PP in UK lounges but now so many people have one or are booking a place at £30 a pop. Seems like the so-called cost of living crisis may not be as widespread as we thought!

        • lumma says:

          Where are you seeing that on the Dragonpass app? When I go to the lounge page and click on “member access” it just takes me to the page to buy more visits for any lounge

          • Colin Thames says:

            Maybe you can’t see it until you have some passes available? I have the Barclays Premier DP which comes with 6 free. In the app, when I click on the Luton Aspire lounge I have two buttons showing below: ‘Use Pass’ and ‘Pre Book Lounge’.

          • Mike Ward says:

            It is confusing but I think from the one time I was actually able to get access to a lounge I just skipped that page (ie left the number of visits at zero) and clicked enter to go to the next page that gives the QR for entry.

  • lgflyer says:

    The Grain Store in Gatwick now adds a 10% service charge to the bill which is not covered by the Priority Pass credit. So it is not “free” anymore but a 91% discount.
    So if you have say a £10 bill, there will be a £1 service charge and you will still be asked to pay for it on your credit card or cash even though the total bill would be under £15.

    • Mike Ward says:

      Though presumably the service charge is optional and you can ask for it to be removed – unless you think it was worth 10% of course

  • conspicuous-capybara says:

    I arrived at YVR yesterday and got selected for the random screening. Not thrilled, really hoping it’s not a super sensitive PCR test that could still pick up the Covid I recovered from a month ago… will update once I’ve taken the test and got results back.

    • Daniel says:

      I was selected when I traveled back in May, however once I could prove I had recently recovered from Covid they said I didn’t actually need to take the pcr test. They accepted the negative test uploaded to the nhs website as proof

    • AndyGWP says:

      Thanks. Would be grateful of any details you can provide of what happens. Good luck

  • Erico1875 says:

    TBH. Having recently been rattled for £23 at LCY for a glass of wine and a bottle of Magners, if it’s the same at other airports, then paying £30 pp to get into a lounge for a couple of hours is a no brainer.
    No wonder they are full.

  • AScotInCanada says:

    Another one who got “specially” selected when we arrived into YVR off an Air Canada flight from Heathrow. I was at the hotel before I saw the email, so bit late to go past the walk-in centre at the airport.

    It’s a total gong show; after registering with the BC provider, I elected to go past a Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Vancouver to have a sample taken in person. Which took 2 hours to get done. No idea why they don’t give you a test kit in the airport and get you to drop something off. Chatting to others in the queue some had only just seen the email by chance and there was general confusion. Reading between the lines I think the onus is on the traveller and I really wonder if you just ignored the email if they would ever follow up.

    Pharmicist said the labs are backed up and “you’ll probably get the result after you get home”….

    • AndyGWP says:

      Re: “Pharmicist said the labs are backed up and “you’ll probably get the result after you get home”….”

      This is where I really don’t understand the policy of quarantining for 10 days from your test result. Why isn’t it from when your test is taken 🤷🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️

      • AndyGWP says:

        (Ie the remainder of days – if it takes 7 days to get a test result, why should you then quarantine for 10 days after that!)

      • AScotInCanada says:

        Quarantine is 10 days from the test, not the result. Doesn’t make much sense. If you are fully vaccinated no need to isolate whilst you wait.

  • Ian (a different one) says:

    Arrived in Toronto on the 20th and one of our party (of 4) was selected for testing – the email had arrived before we reached our hotel.
    Yesterday morning we went down to a facility in a conference center near the airport where a dozen or so bored looking people sat checking Instagram whilst waiting for a flood of testees – I think we were the only there to be tested. I don’t think the guy taking our details really knew what he was doing, but thankfully the lady doing the test seemed much more competent. No results yet – if they don’t come through soon we will be in a hotel in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi and no mobile signal – good luck with contacting us there!
    Fingers crossed we will be ok – when we heard the testing was restarting we went for PCR tests in the UK a couple of days before we left. Didn’t want to risk 10 days quarantine in Canada – that would be, um, annoying.

    P.S. there were loads of alternative test sites in drug stores etc
    P.P.S. We all had COVID in June so there was worry we might still test positive if randomly tested on arrival – hence the PCR tests before departure.

    • Ian (a different one) says:

      Results are in… Negative thankfully. So they took about 36 hours to arrive.

  • CamFlyer says:

    Absolutely not!

  • AndyGWP says:

    Re: Canada random testing

    I’ve created a thread in the forum if anyone has any updates or experiences of the random testing over the next few weeks

    It’s here: https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/canada-random-testing-experiences-thread/#new-topic-0

    • Eoc says:

      Just finished cancelling my Sept trip there. Even if its only a 5pct chance of being picked and then being positive thats too much for me. Given the consequence is 10 days in some hotel room , who would book a holiday with those odds? No wonder foreign stays in hotels are down over 80pct.

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