Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that anyone coming into Canada through a land border as of the day after Valentine's Day will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test or face a fine.

"As of Feb. 15, when you return to Canada through a land border, you'll need to show a 72-hour PCR test, just like for air travel," said Trudeau. 

"People who show up at a land border for non-essential travel, like returning snowbirds, will be expected to show a negative PCR test."

A PCR - or polymerase chain reaction - test detects genetic material from a specific organism, like the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, if the person is infected at the time of the test or has been previously infected. 

The test is typically done by getting a swab from inside the nasal cavity and having it analysed in a medical lab. The results are usually available after about a day.

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The content of this article reflects the personal insight of Attorney Colin Singer and needs no disclaimer