Canada removes India-specific Covid-19 testing rules for travellers

Published on Jan 28, 2022 10:47 AM IST

Travel between India and Canada will become easier now as Ottawa has removed India-specific Covid-19 testing requirements that made the process cumbersome.

Travel between India and Canada will become easier now as Ottawa has removed India-specific Covid-19 testing requirements that made the process cumbersome. (REUTERS)
Travel between India and Canada will become easier now as Ottawa has removed India-specific Covid-19 testing requirements that made the process cumbersome. (REUTERS)
ByAnirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Amit Chanda

Travel between India and Canada will become easier now as Ottawa has removed India-specific Covid-19 testing requirements that made the process cumbersome.

In its latest update, the Canadian government’s travel advisory for India no longer contains the mandatory requirement for obtaining a negative RT-PCR test prior to boarding from a single laboratory located at Delhi airport. The norms applicable to passengers flying from India to Canada will be those implemented overall.

Travel between India and Canada will become easier now as Ottawa has removed India-specific Covid-19 testing requirements that made the process cumbersome.

In its latest update, the Canadian government’s travel advisory for India no longer contains the mandatory requirement for obtaining a negative RT-PCR test prior to boarding from a single laboratory located at Delhi airport. The norms applicable to passengers flying from India to Canada will be those implemented overall.

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Given restrictions due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19, a negative RT-PCR test result prior to boarding will still be necessary but this can now be obtained from an Indian Council of Medical Research-recognised lab.

Entry into Canada is restricted to fully vaccinated passengers though both vaccines used in India, Covishield and Covaxin, are now recognised in Canada for travel purposes.

Passengers from India will also not be required a get a negative test result from a third country prior to leaving for Canada if they are taking a connecting flight.

Passengers arriving in Canada may also be subject to random Covid-19 testing.

The travel advisory for India earlier limited pre-departure testing to a single laboratory of the company Genestrings located at Delhi airport. Travellers had to provide a negative test result before they are allowed boarding for any Canadian destination, making the process problematic to those connecting via Delhi as getting the test taken and results received consumed up to eight or nine hours. That test had to be done within 18 hours of scheduled departure.

The previous norms also read: “Passengers who travel from India to Canada via an indirect route still need to provide a pre-departure negative Covid-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.”

However, Canada still has in place a warning against any non-essential travel abroad due to concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. That, though, is relevant to those departing Canada rather than incoming passengers.

The testing norms specific to India were introduced in September when Canada lifted its ban on direct flights between the two countries, which was imposed in April last year amid concerns over the Delta-driven wave in India.

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