I try to limit my news intake on a daily basis to just what I need to know and not ‘everything’ that is out there.  I find the news negative, overwhelming and often lacking the ‘full story’. Often headlines are click bait to get you to read a story, but then the story doesn’t really match the headline. I don’t share news very often because it becomes outdated so quickly, but with today’s news about the new Rapid Covid test, I think it’s worth talking about!

Today, for the first time in many months, I feel there is news that is worth sharing as it shows actual progress in the right direction for Canadians wanting to travel without the 14 day quarantine on return.

Calgary is starting a testing program on Nov 2, 2020, at the International airport, along with the US/CAN border. People entering Canada will be tested and will only have to quarantine until their results come back (approximately two days). If their test is negative, they can resume normal activities and take another test on day 6/7 at a designated pharmacy. For now, it is a pilot program, but it’s a start!

Another program, coming soon, is designed to do a Rapid Covid Test on arrival to Canada and with results in 90 minutes. The idea is that the rapid tests will replace mandatory quarantine. The rapid test kits have been ordered in the millions and are anticipated to arrive by the new year. (Let’s all just anticipate delays though. It is 2020 after all.) It’s expected that this program will be tested at Toronto International and/or Calgary International before going Canada wide. No details on follow up requirements though, so there may still be a second test required.

Keep in mind this does not eliminate the need for negative Covid testing prior to departure, as a requirement of entry to many countries. Right now in Nova Scotia, voluntary Covid tests for travel purposes can be done but are prohibitively expensive for most people.

If you’re looking to skip that cost, Costa Rica announced today that Covid tests are not required for entry in to the country. You will, however be required to fill out a Health Pass, and provide proof of travel medical insurance. I suspect the requirement of travel insurance in order to enter countries will become more and more common going forward. If you used to take the risk and not buy insurance, for many places, that will no longer be an option.

And for those of you who are curious, yes, Covid coverage is now available to protect you if you do contract Covid while out of country; in addition to all of the regular protections for medical, such as breaking an arm, getting food poisoning, having a heart attack (if not a pre-existing condition), etc. When you are ready to travel, I’ll make sure you have all of the options and correct coverage for your trip.

While all of the details of the Rapid Covid Test programs aren’t yet known, this is GREAT news for all of you who are ready to get back out there (me included), but don’t want to ignore Canada’s Non Essential Travel Advisories, or don’t have the time or space to quarantine for 14 days on return.

It’s sooooo good to know that finally, progress is being made in Canada and while we don’t have a vaccine yet, these programs will help the world economy make it’s way back to ‘normal’ and help us learn to live with Covid, rather than locking ourselves away from each other.

Share with me what you think … Are you excited for the potential with the new rapid tests? Leave me a comment below.

When you are ready to look at options for your next great getaway, I’d love to help find the perfect luxury or adventure vacation for you. You can reach me by phone at 902 402 7646 or stucker@tpi.ca.


  1. I think it’s a wonderful idea. We can only go a week at a time, so this would be great.
    Costa Rica, do you need to have the test done within 72 hrs and need a hard copy or a phone copy?

    1. Hi Sue,
      For Costa Rica, the most recent announcement is that a covid test is NOT required to enter the country. You have to fill out a health declaration and have proof of travel medical insurance. On the way home, it will depend when / where you enter and live in Canada as to what the process will be. The pilot project is starting in Calgary Nov 2nd, but only applies to Albertans, living in Alberta. I’m sure the program will expand in the coming months, but it’s just getting started.

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