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COVID-19 testing centre for arriving international travellers launches at Pearson Airport

News release

January 6, 2021 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada welcomes the Government of Ontario’s announcement to offer COVID-19 testing on-site at Toronto Pearson International Airport for arriving international travellers who wish to take a test prior to leaving the airport.

This new testing service does not change a traveller’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement upon entry into Canada.

The Government of Canada has implemented robust measures at Canada’s borders to prevent and mitigate the importation of new COVID-19 cases associated with international travel. This includes a mandatory 14-day quarantine for most arriving travellers and a new requirement for a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result at least three days prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

Today’s pilot program at Toronto Pearson International Airport represents a collaboration with industry, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Government of Canada, and sets the stage for further science-based work with the Government of Ontario on testing of international travellers.

The Government of Canada continues to work with Ontario and other provinces, territories and partners to implement innovative and scientifically grounded measures at Canada’s international border. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada is continuing to advise travellers to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.


“With a 14-day mandatory quarantine in place for most travellers coming into Canada, our border measures are some of the strongest in the world. Our response to COVID-19 will continue to be guided by science and this pilot program will allow us to further Canadian research on the most effective measures in combination of quarantining and testing.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Health, Government of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada continues to advise against non-essential travel and reminds all travellers returning to Canada that contravening the mandatory quarantine can lead to severe penalties.
  • The travel restrictions and border measures in place in Canada since March 2020 are working—travel volumes are down 90% at airports compared to the previous year and only around 2% of all known COVID-19 cases in Canada have originated from travel outside the country.
  • This new pilot for arriving travellers at Pearson Airport is in addition to the Government of Canada new pre-departure requirement for travellers bound to Canada to demonstrate proof of negative COVID-19 results from a test taken within three days prior to departure.

Associated links


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

COVID-19 Public Inquiries:

Tony Van Bynen

Member of Parliament for

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