Starting next week international travelers will need to provide a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test to get back into Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new restrictions on Tuesday Feb. 9 at a press conference at Rideau Cottage.
"As of Feb.15, when you return to Canada through a land border, you'll need to show a 72-hour PCR test, just like for air travel," Trudeau said.
Other media have reported that if the test is not provided a stiff penalty will be imposed and a follow-up will be completed to make sure they have received a test and are observing quarantine.
This announcement comes just a few weeks after Canada suspended all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean on Jan. 31 in a bid to thwart variants of COVID-19 from entering the country. As part of these restrictions, Canadians will also need to get tested when they land in airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
While waiting for those test results travellers will wait at an approved hotel for up to three days at their own expense. At the time of this announcement, Trudeau estimated the cost of the hotel stays would run about $2,000.
Trudeau also announced during Tuesday's press conference that the country can expect to receive hundreds of thousands more doses of the Pfizer vaccine also starting on Monday.
“I can tell you we are still very much on track for tens of millions of doses into the spring and for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, vaccinated by September,” the Prime Minister said adding next week marks the start of a major ramp-up in vaccine shipments.