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Negative COVID-19 test required as of Jan. 7 to board flights to Canada

Last Updated Dec 31, 2020 at 2:40 pm PST

FILE - A plane lands at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in December, 2020 (Riley Phillips, NEWS 1130 photo)

As of Jan. 7, anyone five years of age or older will require a negative COVID-19 before boarding

Proof of a negative test result must be shown before getting on a plane, test must have been within 72 hours

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Canada’s requirement that anyone entering the country by plane test negative for COVID-19 will come into effect Jan. 7, according to the feds.

The requirement will apply to all passengers who are “five years of age or older,” according to a statement from Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.

Airline travellers must obtain a test with a negative result within 72 hours, or be denied boarding, a move that is meant to discourage non-essential travel.

“Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada,” the statement reads.

“Canadians who are currently travelling and returning to Canada soon should start immediately arranging for a COVID-19 test, to avoid a delay in their return to Canada. Canadians who are planning to travel abroad should consider how they will meet these requirements before departure.”

RELATED: Passengers will soon have to show negative COVID-19 test before flying to Canada

Anyone who does test negative is still subject to a mandatory, 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

“Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines,” the statement reads.

Canada recently extended its ban on flights from the U.K., where the more contagious strain of COVID-19 has been spreading, until Jan. 6.

The extension came shortly before the variant was detected in Canada.

“We can all work together to save lives. Stay in Canada and follow public health guidelines to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community,” Garneau urges.