January 3, 2023 | Circular No. 11477

Dear Member,

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) had announced that as of 12:01 AM (EST) on January 5, 2023, all air travelers arriving on flights originating from China, Hong Kong or Macao will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline as a condition of boarding,

The test, which must have been taken no more than two days before departure, can be either a negative molecular test (such as a PCR test) or a negative antigen test (provided it has documentation showing that the test was monitored by a telehealth service or an accredited laboratory or testing provider).  Passengers also have the option of providing the airline with documentation showing that they previously tested positive for Covid-19, provided this occurred within 10 to 90 days of the departure flight.

Members should note that although seafarers and marine workers have previously been exempt from some of Canada’s Covid-19 testing requirements, neither PHAC nor Transport Canada have provided confirmation of any similar exemptions with respect to the current measures.

Given the foregoing, we strongly recommend that seafarers and other marine workers flying to Canada from China and Hong Kong assume that the above measures DO apply to them, and be prepared to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding.  Based on the information we currently have, this is the best means of avoiding potential issues or delays at the airport of departure or at any point thereafter.

PHAC has indicated that these measures will remain in place for 30 days, after which they will be re-assessed based on new and evolving data.  We will continue to monitor this issue and revert to members as we receive additional information from PHAC and / or Transport Canada.


Karen Kancens
Vice President