As vaccine rollout rate increases throughout Canada, the country is eagerly expecting its reunion with the world. On July 19, 1:30PM, the Canadian Federal Government announced new measures to border restrictions in a press conference. Public Health Minister Patty Hajdu delivered two uplifting adjustments of border restrictions:
- On August 9, fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents are able to enter Canada from the United States. Moreover, they will be exempt from quarantine.
- On September 7, any fully vaccinated travellers can enter Canada and they may also enjoy quarantine exemption.
The Government of Canada has stated beforehand that fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, essential workers, and international students will be exempted from quarantine. Nevertheless, several crucial requirements still remain effective.
Definition of Fully Vaccinated
To qualify for quarantine exemption, those entering Canada must be vaccinated by a Government of Canada-approved vaccine. Additionally, the vaccination must be completed at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Up to this point, the following four brands of vaccines have been approved:
- Johnson & Johnson
Note that Johnson & Johnson’s viral vector vaccine requires only one shot. Hence, recipients of the vaccine only need one inoculation to be considered as fully vaccinated.
Required Documents Upon Entrance
Travellers must first submit their flight/vehicle information on the ArriveCAN app before arrival, along with inoculation records in either English or French. Moreover, the policy implemented on July 5 states that all travellers over 5 years old must submit a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
- Those travelling via land must provide a negative PCR result conducted 72 hours before entering Canada;
- Those travelling via air must follow the same prerequisite. Airlines have the right to reject any customer who fails to provide a PCR test.
Measures Regarding Dependents
Currently, if a fully-vaccinated personnel travels along with unvaccinated children or dependents, then they are still subject to quarantine requirements. However, staying at government-authorized hotels no longer remains mandatory.
Starting from August 9, unvaccinated children under 12 will be exempt from quarantine, with all activities under strict compliance with public health and safety procedures.
Airports Accepting International Flights
Four Canadian airports are currently open to receive international commercial flights:
- Montréal-Trudeau International Airport;
- Toronto Pearson International Airport;
- Calgary International Airport; and
- Vancouver International Airport.
Effective August 9, five additional airports will permit commercial flight landings:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
- Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport;
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
- Edmonton International Airport.
Hotel Quarantine Revocation
The 3 days hotel quarantine will be revoked on August 9. Nevertheless, all travellers (including fully-vaccinated ones) must prepare a 14-days quarantine plan for Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) inspection. Although quarantine is no longer obligatory, the final discretion is up to CBSA officials, which suggests that the absence of any necessary information may result in a quarantine exemption denial.
Post-Arrival Tests will be Conducted on a Random Selection Basis
Under the new policy, travellers no longer need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to do so. As for unvaccinated travellers, all previous conditions still apply. Until the changes take effect, travellers must register their profile in one of the following websites for arrival test:
- Montreal: Biron Groupe Santé
- Toronto: Switch Health
- Calgary: Government of Alberta
- Vancouver: LifeLabs
Note that the registration email for arrival test must align with one’s email in ArriveCAN app.