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Negative COVID-19 test required to fly into Canada starting Thursday

Last Updated Jan 6, 2021 at 11:57 am PST

Traveler Patty Siegel, right, from Los Angeles gets a COVID-19 nasal swab test before a planned trip to Hawaii at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Flying into Canada will require a negative PCR COVID-19 test starting at midnight

Passengers over the age of five will have to take the test three days before their flight

The U.K. flight ban, which has been in place since December, will also end on Thursday

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Travellers flying into Canada will need proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test before stepping onto a plane starting midnight Thursday. 

When the new travel rule comes into effect, anyone planning to fly into Canada will have to take a nose-swab test three days before take-off, or they might not be allowed to board.

The requirement will apply to all passengers five years of age or older.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced the restriction last week, in a move the federal government has described as another layer of protection to discourage non-essential travel.

No changes were made to the 14-day quarantine requirement. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair explained when the test requirement was first discussed, it would supplement the isolation-period, not shorten the length.

RELATED: Airlines slam ‘confusion’ new COVID-19 testing rules create for carriers, passengers

Anyone who does test negative will still need to quarantine for the full 14-day period.

The federal government said last week anyone returning from countries where the test isn’t available will have to quarantine at a federal facility.

Meanwhile, Garneau also announced the U.K. flight ban, which has been in place since Dec. 20 and extended into January, will come to an end at midnight, as well.

RELATED: COVID-19 variant arrives in B.C.

The ban had been implemented when the new mutation of COVID-19 was rapidly spreading around the U.K., and shortly before it was first detected in Canada.

-with files from the Canadian Press