PCR Testing on return to Canada

We just returned from our first international trip outside of Canada which wasn’t a house sit but a personal vacation. I just thought I’d share some info on the requirements to get back into Canada and the U.S. for others who may be thinking of travelling internationally. As Canadians we required a PCR test prior to coming back to Canada. It was done at the resort and cost us $373 Canadian for the two of us. We spoke to other Canadians who had stayed at other resorts and some of them were charged $600 CAD for the same test. The Americans at our resort only required an Antigen test which cost $32 U.S. We had to show our vaccination certificates although it was a requirement for flying home and we also had to fill out an ArriveCan document.

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Tried to edit my post - vaccination was NOT a requirement for boarding the plane returning to Canada.

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You didn’t have to be vaccinated because you’re Canadian. Non-Canadians must be vaccinated AND take a PCR test to enter the country.

Also, starting sometime in October, all travellers in Canada will have to be double vaccinated. No date has been announced yet.

@Annette @Kelownagurl thank you for this information getting location specific insights into travel protocols is so important and extremely helpful

@Annette I have moved this into the travel category as it is relevant to all travelers … thank you again.

Thanks Angela!

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Just to clarify, Canadians do require a PCR test to return to Canada. We traveled to Mexico.

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Yes, definitely. Sorry, I didn’t include that but good point.

PCR costs vary widely, depending on who you use. It is free in some countries (Ireland) if done at a government facility. rapid test costs also vary widely. As with everything, it pays to shop around.

I am travelling from Glasgow to Indonesia in 2 weeks’ time.

To get into Indonesia I need a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the flight, which is not that difficult but can cost from £80 (Boots pharmacy) to over £150 - about $200 US. Unfortunately, the results are not available for 48 hours.

I am transiting through Amsterdam and Singapore. Singapore requires a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior to flight, even if you are only transiting through Changi. So, the Boots PCR test is no good.

The only way to get a PCR test and the result in time for the flight is to pay a lot of money, or go to Glasgow airport 48 hours before the flight, get a test, go home and then wait 24 hours for a result. (£80)

Once I land in Jakarta, I have to Quarantine for 7 nights/8 days. I have booked a Quarantine hotel and will be collected from the airport by the hotel, I then get a PCR test at the hotel the first morning, and another one on the 6th morning, and finally get released on day 8 if all negative. The Hotel Quarantine package includes the cost of the tests, and 3 meals a day.

My final test is then valid for 72 hours if I want to fly internally, my final destination is Bali, but I was planning on staying in Jakarta for a few days, visiting friends, so then need an Antigen test at the airport to fly, which only costs about £5.

So, I have been double vaccinated, but need to carry proof – I have a certificate on paper and pdf with 2 QR codes on my phone.

My initial negative PCR test result on paper and pdf with QR code (I hope)

I have a quarantine hotel booking – you can’t leave the airport in Jakarta without a booking – paper and pdf with QR code.

Until this week there was also the requirement to download an Indonesian app which contained all those details and allowed you to enter Malls, Supermarket’s and buy travel tickets for buses, trains and flights, but they have relaxed that rule – I hope.

Phew, I need a holiday!

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For my first ski holiday to the Austrian Tirol in TWO WHOLE YEARS (crying) in February 2022, I will be travelling with my hazmat suit if necessary. I am prepared to offer my hand in marriage to the airport police at Munich airport. Nothing is going to stop me enjoying that fluffy white stuff and seven days of Apres Ski.

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Good luck, Petermac, with all these arrangements! Thank you for educating some of us on what is ahead of us where international travel is concerned. I might be delaying it until sometime next year!

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@LTD friends just came back from Austria and they had to have their booster vaccination, because you either received your (double) vaccination not longer than 9 months ago or you have to have the booster!
If you only transit in Munich airport without actually entering the country, the German laws don’t apply.
Enjoy your ski holiday!

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Thank you! All info to help me get on that flight on to Munich and then onward transit (I won’t enter Germany, only sleep on the seats in the airport until the ICE train at first light!) is manna from heaven! I am due to have my C19 booster jab before the end of November so I am good to go!

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You can get a free Pcr test in the UK with the NHS, but NOT for travel. Only if your employer sends you or you need a test for work, or some other reason other than travel.
Crazy rules. Someone is making a lot of money from all this…

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That’s great to hear! All fingers crossed that this holiday is going to happen :pray:t3::pray:t3::pray:t3:
Where do you travel from when you fly to Munich?

Same for Ireland @ElaineInDallas: You can get a free PCR test from the HSE but it can’t be used for travel.

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I recently flew Toronto to Florida and back (collected my 95 year old mum for a visit after almost 2 years not seeing her). It was a stressful experience all round, but now that I’ve done it, much more prepared for our upcoming travels.

Flying Toronto to Florida, only had to complete a US Attestation Form and hand it in prior to security. Not sure where all those millions of pieces of paper were being filed, but it seemed like a massive waste of paper. Didn’t have to show vaccine receipt or PCR results to US Customs.

Had to upload vaccine receipts to the Air Canada website, but was only required to show PCR results when flying Florida to Toronto. The Air Canada attendant at the gate in Florida announced “no one will be allowed on my plane without proof”!

Had to show both vaccine receipts and negative PCR results to Customs in Toronto, as well as completing the ArriveCan document which came up when the Customs officer scanned my passport.

Of PCR costs, definitely shop around. Air Canada’s website will direct you to LifeLabs which costs $250, and you have to book and pay in advance. I went to a small, nearby pharmacy and paid $130. I got my results in less than 24 hours.

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I mentioned that the test in free in Ireland @travellingnomad . I know that the facilities say that this test isn’t valid for travel (presumably to reduce the numbers of people using the free testing), but I assume that the US authorities/airlines would accept the test if it met all the listed requirements (probably other countries also, but I was only researching US requirements). I did the rapid test at Boots, but the airline check of requirements was so cursory that I think the gov test would have worked.

Anyone travelling to the US, I highly recommend using the VeriFly app. Once I uploaded all my info to the app, the check-in attendant at the airport just glanced at this and didn’t need any paper documents.

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Gosh - that’s a lot to go through but enjoy your holiday :slight_smile:

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