COVID-19 Testing at Toronto Pearson Airport

Register Now

COVID-19 Testing at Toronto Pearson Airport

Effective February 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., the Government of Canada requires all international arriving passengers to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at Toronto Pearson. The program is another layer of protection to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Testing is available at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, administered by Switch Health.

Mandatory testing of all international arriving passengers is in addition to the Government of Canada pre-departure test requirement for travellers bound to Canada. Passengers must still demonstrate proof of negative COVID-19 results from a test taken within three days prior to departure to Canada.

Travellers exempt from testing:

  • Children who are four (4) years of age and younger
  • International travellers arriving in Toronto via a domestic flight (e.g. Hong Kong-Vancouver-Toronto),

A limited number of other exemptions are available, which can be clarified by the Government of Canada.

After the Day 1 test at Pearson Airport, all travellers will be given a Switch Health At Home Collection Kit for a Day 10 test. Click here for additional information on At Home Collection Kits.

To register for on-arrivals testing, click here.

How to Participate

Step 1: Complete ArriveCAN submission

Use ArriveCAN to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada, as required by the Government of Canada. This is a requirement for entry into Canada as of November 21, 2020. This is not related to registration for the Arrivals Testing Pilot Program.

Step 2: Complete pre-departure testing requirement

This is a requirement for entry into Canada as of 12:01 a.m. on January 7, 2021. This is not related to registration for the Arrivals Testing Pilot Program.

Step 3: Create an account with Switch Health

Register with Switch Health for the Arrivals Testing Pilot Program. Register here: portal.switchhealth.ca/register

Step 4: Proceed to testing area in Terminals 1 and 3 upon landing

After arriving and completing the customs process, pick up your luggage and follow directional signage to the testing area.

Travellers who have not pre-registered in advance of arriving in Toronto will have the opportunity to do so directly at the testing site. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to expedite your testing experience.

At the testing area, you will self-administer your test under the supervision of Switch Health tele-nurse. The tele-nurse will link your test sample to your Switch Health profile. After completing your test, you must immediately proceed to your quarantine location.

Switch Health will deliver your test sample to its lab for processing. Test results are typically available within 72 hours. When your results are available, you will get a notification through your preferred communication method (i.e. text or email) to go to the Switch Health patient portal, ASMO, to view your results.

If your test is negative for COVID-19—and the results of other program participants in your household are negative—you can continue your federally mandated 14-day quarantine. You must also remember to continue to use the ArriveCAN platform to complete your daily health checks.

If your test is positive for COVID-19, or indeterminate, you will be directed to the local Public Health unit for COVID-19 case management and a Switch Health clinician will call to provide support and guidance.

Visit Ontario’s website for public health guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to sign up

Do I need to register?

Yes, you do need to register. Advance registration is strongly encouraged as it avoids the general registration queue at the airport and can be done online or on your personal mobile device. Passengers who do not register in advance can also sign-up when they arrive at Toronto Pearson.

What is Switch Health’s patient portal, ASMO?

ASMO is Switch Health’s proprietary results reporting and telehealth platform. ASMO is an all-in-one, PHIPA-compliant platform that securely stores your results.

How do I receive my results?

Prior to your appointment, please sign up at https://portal.switchhealth.ca and create an account. You will receive your results through Switch Health’s patient portal.

During your appointment the nurse will assign a serial number to your specimen. The laboratory will use this serial number to assign a result. You will be alerted via text message or e-mail when your result is ready to review on the portal.

You will be able to view, download and print your result via ASMO.

For questions or concerns, please email us at results@switchhealth.ca

Test results will also be reported into Ontario’s Lab Information System. Public health will follow up on all positive tests.

When will I receive my results?

You will receive a text message or email to the provided account notifying you that your result is ready to review.

How do I sign up to ASMO?

To sign up to ASMO, please go to https://portal.switchhealth.ca and follow the steps provided. Signing up should take no longer than one minute. With two-factor authentication, ASMO requires email or a mobile phone number to provide security and privacy for patients.

Please note, if choosing SMS for updates, mobile phone must be Canadian and able to receive SMS text messages.

I forgot my password to ASMO, how can I change it?

ASMO is intuitive and user friendly. To change your password, simple click “change my password” and follow the steps provided.

1. Click 'account' on the left-hand side of screen

2. Click 'change password' on upper right side of screen

3. Enter in new password, re-enter new password. Please note that a password must be a minimum of 8 character including 3 of lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and special characters.

4. Click ‘save’

5. For questions or concerns, please email us at contact@switchhealth.ca

The basics

Do I need to take part in this program?

All international arriving passengers are required by the Government of Canada to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine. There are only a limited number of exceptions where an individual is not required to do post-border testing.

Does registering for arrivals testing replace the need to complete a pre-departure test before travelling to Canada?

No. Travellers coming to Canada must follow the Government of Canada requirement to take a COVID-19 test in your last point of departure to Canada, within 3 days prior to your departure date and show a negative test result before boarding your plane.

Does registering for arrivals testing replace the need to complete an ArriveCAN submission before entering Canada?

No, all travellers must still complete an ArriveCAN submission, as required by the Government of Canada. As of November 21, 2020, international travellers are required to use the ArriveCAN app to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada.

Does a negative test result from Switch Health allow me to leave quarantine early?

No. It is anticipated that Ontario’s airport testing pilot program may help inform the development of future testing programs for broader implementation to support the eventual safe reopening of borders.

The passenger experience

What is the process to be tested and what rules do I need to follow?

Step 1: Enroll in the program

- Register to participate as a volunteer in the program

- Registration can be done in advance of arrival at Toronto Pearson

- Registration can also be done on arrival at Toronto Pearson

REMINDER: As of November 21, 2020, international travellers are also required to use the ArriveCAN app to submit a quarantine plan and contact info before departing for Canada. This is not related to registration for the arrivals testing program.

REMINDER: As of January 7, 2021, international travellers are also required to complete a COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to departure for Canada and show proof of negative test results before boarding the plane.

Step 2: Complete your test at the airport

- After exiting the customs hall and gathering your luggage, proceed to the testing area in your Terminal.

- With guidance from a tele-nurse, self administer the arrivals test at the testing area

- The tele-nurse will register your test sample and link it to your Switch Health profile

- Switch Health will deliver your test sample to its lab for processing

- After completing your test, you must immediately proceed to your quarantine location

Step 3: Quarantine and wait for your test results

- Immediately after completing the test at the airport, you must begin your 14-day quarantine period at your quarantine location

- You will receive a notification from Switch Health when your test results are ready, typically within 48 hours

- Visit Ontario's website for public health guidelines

Where are the testing locations at Toronto Pearson?

Terminal 1, Level 1, adjacent to the Goodlife Gym. Follow the blue and yellow “Arrivals COVID-19 Testing” signage after collecting your bags.

Terminal 3, Arrivals Level, adjacent to Baggage Hall exit point. Follow the blue and yellow “COVID-19 Testing” signage after collecting your bags.

How much do I have to pay to participate?

There is no charge to travellers.

Where do I get my results?

Switch Health will notify you with a text message or email (chosen at the time of testing) once your results are ready to review. Once notified, log on to Switch Health’s patient portal to view your result. You will be able to view, download and print your result via ASMO. If you have questions or concerns, please email Switch Health at results@switchhealth.ca

How long does it take to get results?

You will get a notification from Switch Health through your pre-selected preferred mode of communication that you chose during the registration process (i.e. text, email).

What happens if my test result is positive for COVID-19 or invalid?

If your test result is either positive or invalid, Switch Health will direct the results to the local Public Health unit for contact tracing and follow up. A Switch Health clinician will call to provide support and guidance. Visit Ontario's website for public health guidelines.

The test/the science

What kind of COVID-19 test does Switch Health perform?

Switch Health tests for COVID-19 using bilateral anterior swabs or nasopharyngeal swabs on a standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing machine. Both tests and equipment are approved by Health Canada. On arrival COVID-19 testing in Toronto Pearson International Airport will be self-administered with the oversight of a registered healthcare worker, trained in specimen collection and handling, and infection prevention. Switch Health’s on-site and telehealth nursing staff will provide step-by-step guidance on self-collection to ensure accuracy of results.

What PCR test does Switch Health’s partner laboratory run?

Switch Health’s partner laboratory runs Seegene Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay, a Health Canada approved COVID-19 PCR test kit.

Has government approved this program?

Yes. This program is being implemented by the Government of Ontario.

What is a bilateral anterior swab?

A bilateral anterior swab goes 1-1.5cm into the nasal cavity, the nurse, or the patient, swirls the swab for 15 seconds and then performs the same procedure on the second nasal cavity. This is a less invasive swab and is preferred by many. We request all patients blow their nose immediately prior to the bilateral anterior swab.

Are results for self-collection as accurate as results for specimens collected by a registered healthcare worker?

A nasopharyngeal swab performed by a nurse will be slightly more sensitive than a bilateral anterior swab performed individually. We request all patients blow their nose prior to their bilateral swab as this increases the accuracy of the results.

Contact

For any other questions related to testing, please email Switch Health at support@switchhealth.ca.