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e-3835 (Health)

E-petition
Initiated by Judith Coates from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Independent research conducted in Finland and Italy reveals that pre-departure testing requirements are likely to be ineffective at stopping or even limiting the spread of the Omicron variant (Oxera and Edge Health, 26 Jan 2022);
  • More than 80% of Canadians are fully vaccinated;
  • All Canadians must be fully vaccinated in order to board an aircraft at a Canadian airport;
  • The inbound PCR testing requirement is the single largest barrier to the full recovery of Canada’s international travel industry;
  • A growing number of issues are being reported by Canadian travellers in destination, including inaccuracy of tests (false positives), exorbitant price gouging, reports of people obtaining counterfeit tests, and corrupt PCR practices, with some labs contracted by resorts providing falsified results to keep guests for extended stays at their own expense; and
  • There is an expanding list of countries who have eliminated the requirement of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test results for vaccinated travellers, including but not limited to the U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Germany and Denmark.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to remove the requirement for Canadian travellers to obtain a negative PCR test for re-entry into Canada.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Adam van Koeverden

The Government of Canada has implemented a multi-layered framework of travel and border measures to protect Canadians by preventing travel from being a source for the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Adjustments to Canada’s border measures are made possible by a number of factors, including Canada’s high vaccination rate, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, and the growing domestic availability of treatments for COVID-19. Testing measures required of Canadians upon returning have been informed by available data, operational considerations, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation across Canada. The testing regime allows the government to effectively further permit genetic sequencing and identify any potential variants of concern.

Recent data indicated that the latest wave of COVID-19 has passed its peak in Canada and the importation rate of disease at the border has also significantly reduced. This is why the Government of Canada re-evaluated and adapted its border measures.

As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers arriving at land, air or marine ports of entry are no longer required to complete a pre-entry test for entry to Canada. They remain subject to mandatory randomized testing on-arrival to Canada.

As of April 25, 2022, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 11 are no longer required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test for entry to Canada if they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian, but will be subject to mandatory randomized testing on-arrival to Canada.

Unless otherwise exempt (such as unvaccinated/ partially vaccinated children aged 5-11 who are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult), travelers 5 years of age or older who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated must continue to test on arrival and on day 8, provide a quarantine plan, quarantine for 14 days, and provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result:

  • a valid negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada the day before or the day of the initially scheduled flight departure time or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry;
  • a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their initially scheduled flight departure or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
  • a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight departure time or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted.

Children who are less than 5 years old are not required to test, regardless of their vaccination status.

Any easing or modification of the current border restrictions in Canada is done based on the latest scientific evidence and in close consultation with our provincial, territorial and international partners, including industry stakeholders, with the top priority being the health and safety of Canadians.

Open for signature
February 8, 2022, at 11:13 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 10, 2022, at 11:13 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Melissa Lantsman (Thornhill)
March 31, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00325)
Government response tabled
May 16, 2022
Photo - Melissa Lantsman
Thornhill
Conservative Caucus
Ontario
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