Are you going to Canada? What Covid Test(s) you must take? Where are these Tests conducted?

Are you planning to return to Canada or going to Canada for studies, business, tourism or anything else.

You have to follow the guidelines issued by the Government of Canada. What are these guidelines?

The first step is downloading ArrCan app on your mobile phone. This App is valid only for an inward journey – flying into Canada from outside.

After downloading the App, punch in the information required, including your name, date of birth, passport number, flight number, date of travel, boarding from and destination, etc., etc. Also upload information about your vaccination and the vaccination certificate. You are also required to complete the second part of the App that needs information in detail about your probable place of quarantine in Canada.

After your App is loaded you get a code that you have to show to the Airlines – Ai Canada – at the time of checking in. Without App being updated, you may not be allowed to get a boarding pass.

The second MOST IMPORTANT requirement is the PCR or RT PCR test that you have to undertake at the Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3. The Test may take from one hour to six to eight hours depending upon which Test you have booked.

The simple PCR Test will cost you Rs 500 and it may take  four to eight hours to get the report. Remember, without the molecular Test (PCR or RT PCR) report, you cannot check in at the airline (Air Canada) counter.

Be careful, the Testing staff will insist that you get Rs 3900 Test (RT PCR) as its report comes in within an hour or so. But if you have time and you have reached Delhi say 10 to 18 hours before the flight, do not change.

The best is book Rs 500 Test and reach Delhi 12 to 18 hours in advance. Go to the airport and go to the Testing centre on first floor of the Metro station at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Better is to go from the Terminal side as at times entry to the stairs leading to the first floor Testing centre are blocked.

Do not get shocked or upset by chaos you witness on the first floor. There may be hundreds of passengers standing in long queues waiting for the Test. Believe me not many of them are going to Canada and these queues are not for you. They are for passengers heading for other destinations.

When you reach the Testing centre, start looking for the place where Tests for Canada-bound passengers ae conducted. There may not be any sign boards aor any directions.

On the first floor or second level, if you are going by stairs go left and if you are coming from Terminal building side go right. Of course there will be long queues. Just go and midway you will find the Test centre for Canada bound passengers. Sign boards get covered by long queues. 

There is no one to guide you or help you.. There is no information kiosk.  Go to any of the counters and introduce yourself and give details of your booking (if done online, already) or just tell them you want your PCR Test. They will ask for your passport. And then they will ask for your flight details. If the gap between the flight is more than  eight to 10 hours, they may book for you Rs 500 Test and if the time is less they may ask you for Rs 3900 Test.

In case you cancel your old Rs 500 Test, they would rather ask you to go back and seek refund on line.

You may be appalled to find the Test staff chit chatting, not sitting in their seats and at times making fun of some passengers by engaging them in unnecessary conversations like why all Punjabis are heading for Canada. Just avoid it and concentrate on your test.

Do not be surprised, none of the booking counters wears a uniform or a white apron or carries any name plate. Most of them are also not able to converse in English. You may not be able to find the Supervisor or the Technician heading the session.

Once you decide which Test you have to undertake, you will be advised to go counter 1 to make the payment and get a receipt. Bring that receipt back and show it to the man boking your test. He or she will take the receipt and give you some bar codes before you are advised to head for the Testing section.

Nasal swabs would be taken and you would be told to wait for your reports. You may be told that the reports may come on the same place at the report collection centre or at Gate 7.

Just head for the check in counter “C”. There sits a man from the lab who has all reports of Canada bound passengers. Wait for your time and turn and go and collect your report before you go to the check in counter and get a boarding pass. Your PCR report will come on your phone and will also come by email.

Unfortunately, no one at the Test centre will provide you the information you need. Rather, no one, including the staff, follows the Corona protocol. There is no social distancing, no Thermal Test, no hands sensitisation, no uniform, no name plates, no sign boards and no one to guide passengers who may be unfortunately illiterate or semi-literate and old people, especially women. There is no arrangement for seating of passengers waiting for either the Test or the Test report. Though the organisers say take Test and enjoy the lounge, it is all on papers only.

God bless you with a smooth conduct of your test.