Returning to Ontario after March Break? Read this first

Ontarians marked the first March Break since 2019 that Canada was not subject to a federal advisory against non-essential travel earlier this week.

And as travelers relaxed on a beach or headed south of the border for some much-needed adventure, some rules have changed that residents will want to be aware of before they head home.

CTV News Toronto has compiled a list of important information you can use before your flight, some best practices for returning back to Canada, as well as tips you can use to get the most out of your vacation.

COMING BACK BEFORE APRIL 1? YOU STILL NEED A NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST TO RE-ENTER CANADA

All travelers returning home before April 1 will still need to provide proof of a negative antigen test to enter the country.

The test itself must be performed no more than one day before your flight.

Popular March Break destinations, like Mexico, the Caribbean, and the US have private clinics where you can buy a rapid test the day before your flight and some hotels even offer their own testing services. However, the test must be administered or observed by a pharmacy, laboratory, health-care entity or telehealth service.

The one-day window does not depend on the time of day the test was taken or the time of your flight or entry, according to the federal government. So if you take your test on 8 am on Thursday and your flight 24 hours later on Friday is delayed, your test is still valid.

If you so choose, you can provide proof of a valid negative molecular test (PCR, Nucleic acid test [NAT] or Nucleic acid amplification test [NAATs]) taken within 72 hours of your scheduled flight’s departure time to Canada.

You don’t need to provide a negative test result if you have tested positive on a molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada. However, make sure you have proof of that positive test result with your name on it that matches the information on your passport.

Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 still need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, quarantine for 14 days, and take another test on the eighth day of their quarantine.

You don’t need to complete a COVID-19 test if you are traveling domestically and are fully vaccinated.

RETURNING TO CANADA AFTER APRIL 1? PRE-ARRIVAL COVID-19 TEST NO LONGER REQUIRED

If your March Break getaway extends beyond this week and you plan to return home after April 1, most travelers are no longer required to provide a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test.

As reported by CTV News and announced by the federal government on Thursday, fully vaccinated individuals entering Canada by air, land or water need not provide a COVID-19 test before returning home.

Unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated travelers are still subject to pre-entry, on-arrival testing and quarantine requirements.

As well, and unless otherwise exempt, all travelers five years of age or older who do not qualify as fully vaccinated must continue to provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result.

Passengers may still be subject to mandatory, random PCR testing at the airport.

GET YOUR COVID-19 VACCINATION DOCUMENTS IN ORDER

Anyone over the age of 12 years and four months needs to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to board a flight entering Canada.

Fully vaccinated, according to the Government of Canada, means having two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. You must have received your second dose at least 14 calendar days prior to the day you travel.

Make sure to have your COVID-19 vaccination documents handy in case you are asked to show them. You can download your enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code here.

If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, click here to see if you qualify to enter Canada by clicking here.

DOWNLOAD THE CANADA BORDER SERVICE’S AGENCY ARRIVECAN APP AHEAD OF TIME

If this is your first trip in a while, you’ll want to download the Canada Border Service Agency’s (CBSA) ArriveCAN app ahead of your return to Canada.

Using the app, you’ll need to input your proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information within 72 hours of your return.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can sign in to ArriveCAN from a computer to get your ArriveCAN receipt. Print your receipt and take it with you when you travel.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Rachel Aiello and Brooklyn Neustaeter

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