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Statement from the Minister of Health on Update to COVID-19 border measures for travelers arriving from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao

Statement

February 2, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

In response to the increasing spread of COVID-19 and its variants in the People’s Republic of China and limited epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data available in these cases, the Government of Canada announced temporary pre-boarding test requirements and arrival screening effective January 5, 2023, for most travelers arriving on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao.

On February 4, 2023, at 12:01 am EST, Canada intends on extending these current health measures for travelers arriving on flights from these regions, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. The requirements are expected to remain in effect until April 5, 2023, 12:01 am EDT.

The decision to extend the current health measures was informed by a number of factors, including:

  • continued reports of a dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases in China since the lifting of restrictions;
  • limited epidemiological data available from China, including with respect to genomic sequencing and potential variants of concern;
  • the potential impact of China’s reopening on Canada’s health care system; nd
  • responses from partner countries and international organizations.

Despite the data provided by China thus far, on-going gaps in data availability remain a significant concern. Extending these temporary health measures will provide time for new, reliable data sources to be made available and allow time for expected domestic waves in China to subside.

With these continuing measures, the Government of Canada, in consultation with provinces and territories, is taking a precautionary approach to protect the health and safety of people in Canada and safeguard Canada’s already burdened health care system.

These border measures will continue to be assessed as more data and evidence become available. The Government of Canada will not hesitate to adjust measures to protect the health and safety of everyone in Canada.

For additional information on these border measures, please visit: COVID-19 pre-boarding test requirements for air travel from China, Hong Kong and Macao.

For the latest advice on COVID-19 and international travel: COVID-19 and International Travel.

Contacts

Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
[email protected]