If you must travel for essential reasons right now, you can provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test instead of a negative one.
Anyone who has had COVID-19, has recovered and is symptom-free can present their positive test. According to the Government of Canada, it must have been taken at least 14 and no more than 180 days before your scheduled entry into Canada by water or land or your flight's initial scheduled departure time.
Starting Jan. 15, that time frame changes to between 10 and 180 days.
The government says the positive result must come from one of the following tests:
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
- Nucleic acid test (NAT) or nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)
- Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
Paper or electronic proof of the test needs to include your name, date of birth, facility that administered the test, date of the test, type of test and test result.
If border officials accept your positive test, you won't have to take arrival or Day-8 tests.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people travelling within the U.S. and U.S. territories can use a positive test but also need a letter from a licensed health-care provider stating they are cleared to travel.
Rapid antigen tests are not accepted as a pre-entry test for Canada.
As of Jan. 6, Canada is under a Level 3 travel advisory. That means avoiding non-essential travel outside of the country, regardless of vaccination status.