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Canada to drop mandatory COVID-19 tests for travelers from China

By RENA LI in Toronto | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-17 10:05

Canada on Friday will remove mandatory COVID-19 testing requirements for air travelers arriving from China.

According to an announcement Thursday from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), starting Friday, air travellers arriving in Canada from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong or Macao will no longer have to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken before their departure.

The move comes after the US lifted similar requirements one week ago. On March 10, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the removal of the special COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound travelers coming from China.

In February, EU countries have agreed to phase out pre-departure COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving from China by the end of March. Japan has also rolled back mandatory testing for all arrivals from the Chinese mainland as of March 1.

Canada introduced the temporary test requirements for air travelers arriving in Canada on flights originating from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, or Macao since Jan 5. Those who are 2 years old and above have been required to present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding an airplane to Canada. a similar rule was implemented by the US on the same day as well.

According to PHAC, Canada will no longer have any COVID border measures in place after the testing requirement is lifted.

"Since Canada and other countries put in place temporary border measures in January 2023, data from China, the international community, and wastewater sampling conducted in Canada, have not detected any new variants of concern," according to a statement from PHAC. "In addition, the COVID-19 situation in both China and Canada has improved, and the Canadian healthcare systems remain stable."

The Chinese National Health Commission declared last month that China "has achieved an important and decisive victory in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic".

On Wednesday, China started to reopen its borders to tourists and resume issuing all types of visas, seeking to boost its tourism and economy after three years of border restrictions due to the pandemic.

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