Molecular tests will no longer be the required standard for travellers entering Canada from Feb 28th. That means the end of pre-arrival PCR testing, with the new rules now allowing for much cheaper and more readily available alternatives, such as clinic-administered rapid antigen tests.
Why are Antigen tests better?
Antigen tests are typically much cheaper, or even free, in many countries. The results are also almost instantaneous, so no more sweating overnight over a potential positive.
The uncertainty and expense of PCR testing is considered, by many industry leaders, to be responsible for suppressing the number of internationally travellers arriving into Canada. So, in that respect, it is the news many in Canada have been desperate for.
What about unvaccinated children?
Also from Feb. 28, unvaccinated children under the age of 12, who are accompanying their fully vaccinated parents, will no longer have to avoid school, daycare or any other crowded setting for 14 days.
What about on-arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers?
Fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada may still be pulled aside for on-arrival testing. However, they will no longer have to quarantine as they wait for results.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the changes on Tuesday as the government repealed the advisory against non-essential travel.
“We have passed the peak of the latest wave driven by the Omicron variant,” he said. “In addition, after two years of following individual public health measures, such as getting vaccinated, wearing masks, keeping our distance and staying at home if sick, Canadians know what to do to keep themselves and each other safe.” He said.
These updates were joined by the very welcome news that mingling and dancing are returning to BC’s restaurants, bars and nightclubs, with and end coming to the rule of six for tables.
We welcome the news, with the rhetoric clearly changing; Canada is beginning to accept the reality of ‘living with the virus’, which means that there is finally hope that the end is in sight.