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What covid tests do unvaccinated travellers need?

What covid tests do unvaccinated travellers need?
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Find out what covid tests you need to travel when unvaccinated

Travellers who have not had two doses of the covid vaccine (the primary series) may have to take some extra steps to ensure they are not turned away at their destination.

Can I get a catch-up covid vaccination for my trip abroad?

Everyone in Canada can get vaccinated against covid-19 for free. To learn more about getting a vaccine or a covid booster, visit the Government of Canada’s Vaccines for Covid-19 page.

Do I have to get vaccinated for my trip abroad?

We appreciate that vaccines are not suitable for every traveller. That’s why we give travel health advice to help you avoid disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and insects. We also give advice on food and water safety, all of which will reduce the chances you will be exposed to viruses and bacteria.

If you have not completed the primary series of covid vaccinations, for some destinations you will need to show proof of a negative result from a covid test taken within a certain window before departure.

For some itineraries, you may find that you are challenged at the border if you cannot produce proof of vaccination against certain diseases, for example polio or yellow fever. However, if there is a medical reason why you can’t get vaccinated against yellow fever, your doctor can fill out a section of your yellow card vaccination certificate. You can also request a waiver letter.

It’s best to contact the embassies of the countries you intend to visit to learn more about entry requirements for people who cannot get vaccinated.

How do I find out the covid testing requirements for my destination?

COVID-19 testing requirements for international travel are constantly changing. It is important to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are planning to visit before you travel to find out if you need to use a covid-19 RT PRC testing service before your departure.

Here are some tips for ensuring that you have the necessary COVID-19 tests and documentation for your trip:

  1. Check the latest travel requirements for the country you are planning to visit.
  2. Find out what type of COVID-19 test is required by your destination government.
  3. Book your test in advance at your nearest branch of Canadian Travel Clinics.
  4. Make sure you have the necessary documentation to prove your test results.
  5. Be prepared to quarantine if you test positive for COVID-19.

Health advice for last-minute travellers

We recommend everyone comes to see us six to eight weeks before travel. But if you are travelling at shorter notice, come and see us anyway, as we can still help with advice, and in some cases, an accelerated vaccination regime if that is appropriate for you. We can also help you plan your covid testing regime ahead of your trip.

How can I protect myself from covid while travelling if I can’t get vaccinated?

Covid-19 is spread via respiratory droplets, and it can be difficult to avoid this, particularly in crowded situations. Unvaccinated people should avoid crowds and busy events. Try to spend time outdoors and in well ventilated spaces, rather than in stuffy rooms. If this is not possible, wearing a mask may be advisable. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Stay away from people who are obviously unwell. We offer a video-supervised covid antigen travel test that you can use to check whether you have a covid infection, or people you are visiting can use it to see if they themselves are infected.

Do I need to prove my covid-19 vaccination status on my return to Canada?

Canadian citizens do not need to prove that they have been vaccinated against covid-19 on their return to Canada. They do not need to get a covid test to enter Canada, either. But unvaccinated travellers may wish to get tested for their own peace of mind.

By following these tips, you can reduce the chances of your travel plans being disrupted by COVID-19.