This should come as welcome news for Canadians that have international travel plans coming up. Most countries that are open for Canadians to travel to (including Hawaii, US), require negative test as a prerequisite to enter the country. So far, expecting travellers have had to hunt down select private labs that can offer this testing service. With a mainstream player like Shoppers Drug Mart now confirming availability of these tests across Canada, its a game changer! For the uninitiated, Shoppers Drug mart is the CVS of Canada, only better 😉

Beginning December 7th, private COVID-19 testing will be available at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia for asymptomatic individuals who require a negative COVID-19 test within 24-48 hours in preparation for an upcoming international flight.

Here are the important nuggets from this annoucement;

  • The COVID-19 RT-PCR test will be used, and has been approved by Health Canada.
  • Testing will be available at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia on December 7th. A complete list of participating stores in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia, will be available here
  • Shoppers Drug Mart is recognized as a trusted testing and travel partner for the State of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program
  • The cost of the test will be available once bookings open on December 7th. This test is not covered by provincial health care programs
  • You will receive your results via email from the accredited testing lab.
  • Results will typically be available from the accredited testing lab within 24-48 hours
  • You can sign-up to receive an email notification when International Outbound Travel COVID-19 Testing is available to book your appointment.
  • COVID-19 testing eligibility:

In order to be tested you must:

1. Have an upcoming flight and can provide flight details as confirmation

2. Be asymptomatic (you have no symptoms of COVID-19)*

3. Have not been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19 within the past 14 days**

4. Have not travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days

5. Have not been advised to get tested for COVID-19 by your local public health unit due to exposure to a confirmed case or as part of an outbreak investigation

6. Have not been advised to get tested for COVID-19 through an exposure notification through the COVID-19 app

7. Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 30 days

*Fever, new onset of cough, worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, decrease of loss of sense of taste or smell, chills, headaches, unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches, (myalgias), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pink eye, (conjunctivitis), runny nose or nasal congestion without other known cause.
** In the past 14 days, have not had close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 and have not been notified by public health that you may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Title Image Credit: Shoppers Drug Mart

Hat-tip to reader, Cuong, for bringing this news to my attention.