Direct flights from India to Canada began in September last year after a long suspension owing to the devastating second wave of the pandemic. It was at this time that several long-term residents and students were able to travel back to Canada.
However, the testing requirements ensured they needed to make a pitstop in a third country and get an RT-PCR test. Last week, in an official readout, the Canadian government announced that the 18-hour testing requirements for passengers from India and Morocco has been officially withdrawn.
Here's what that means.
Who can travel to Canada?
All those who have been fully vaccinated can return to or enter Canada. Those with symptoms will not be permitted to enter the country.
Who is considered fully vaccinated?
Those who have received two doses of a recognised vaccine and completed 15 calendar days after the second dose are considered fully vaccinated. Both Covishield and Covaxin are recognised. Sputnik is however not on the list.
Also Read | India Updates Rules For International Travellers
What do you need to travel to Canada?
A pre-entry RT PCR test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure.
If you have a connecting flight, the test must be taken with 72 hours of your last departure flight to Canada.
Setup an account on ArriveCan and upload your vaccination certificate.
Prepare a quarantine plan in case you test positive or are selected for random testing.
Register in advance for on-arrival testing.
Possible random on-arrival test may be conducted. You will also need to quarantine until the test results arrive. If positive, you will need to isolate for a period of 10 days.
Can you take an RT PCR test anywhere?
No. The Canadian travel regulations specify that for direct flights, you need a report from the Genestrings Laboratory at Delhi Airport.
Do you have to pay for the random on-arrival test?
No. You don't have to pay for the random test.
What about those who have recovered from Covid?
In that case, you will need to provide proof of a positive Covid test result issued between 15 days and 180 days prior to arrival. Those with reports less than 15 days old will be denied entry.
So, what has changed for travellers from India?
The major change for travellers from India is the ability to take a test at Delhi airport and hop on a direct flight to Canada. Earlier, the test required was to be conducted within 18 hours and a stopover in a third country for a test was imminent.
What about children?
All children above 5 years of age need to produce a negative RT PCR test. Children under 5 are exempt.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children under 12 (and above 5) will need pre-entry, arrival, and Day-8 tests or proof of Covid recovery (between 15 days and 180 days).
What about visas?
No new announcement has been made about the visa process.
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