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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 10:31 PM 

Ottawa relaxes border measures for fully vaccinated travellers

  • Other
  •   07-19-2021  12:51 pm
  •   Serge Abel-Normandin

Ottawa relaxes border measures for fully vaccinated travellers
Serge Abel-Normandin

"With vaccination rates on the rise and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to ease restrictions on border measures," said Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

Canada opens to vaxxed travellers on September 7

"If the epidemiological situation in Canada remains favourable", on September 7, 2021, the Government of Canada intends to open Canada's borders to all fully vaccinated travellers who have received the full series of doses of a vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to their arrival in Canada and who meet its entry requirements.

Vaccinated Americans allowed from August 9

As a first step, starting August 9, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who currently remain in the United States and who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their arrival in Canada for non-essential travel.

This preliminary step allows the Government of Canada to make adapted border measures fully operational by September 7, 2021, and recognizes the close ties that exist between Canadians and Americans," the government said in the news release announcing this update.

No quarantine for vaccinated

If they can enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers (of all origins) will not be required to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

The 14-day quarantine remains mandatory for unvaccinated travellers

No more quarantine at the hotel for air travellers

As of midnight and one minute (EDT) on August 9, the requirement to spend three nights in a government-authorized hotel will be lifted for all passengers arriving by air, whether vaccinated or not.

The government says it can eliminate this measure thanks to "increasing vaccination rates in Canada, decreasing COVID-19 cases and reducing pressure on health care capacity."

The quarantine plan remains required for all

Nevertheless, all travellers will still be required to provide a quarantine plan and be prepared for quarantine if it is determined at the border that they do not meet the requirements.

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers will be required to submit travel information through the ArriveCAN web portal or application.

The test is always required before departure for Canada...

All travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, will still be required to present the results of a molecular test for COVID-19 before leaving for Canada.

And on arrival...

Testing on arrival and day 8 will also remain mandatory for unvaccinated (or those who are not fully vaccinated).

"Mandatory screening requirements remain the same for unvaccinated travellers."

A random test on arrival for vaccinated

As of August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada will adapt its testing strategy upon arrival in Canada for fully vaccinated individuals.

"With its new border surveillance program at airports and land ports of entry, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to be tested upon arrival unless they have been randomly selected for a molecular COVID-19 test on the first day," it explains.

Monitor variants...

The Government of Canada explains that its strategy allows it to continue to monitor variants of concern in Canada as well as the effectiveness of vaccines.

"With these different layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats and make appropriate decisions on restricting international travel."

Avoid non-essential travel abroad

Given that the epidemiological situation and immunization coverage vary globally, the Government of Canada still advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel abroad.

"Travel abroad increases the risk of exposure to the coronavirus and its variants, as well as the risk of transmitting the virus to others," he said.

Measures subject to change

The Government adds that border measures remain subject to change according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

"When Canada begins welcoming fully vaccinated travellers from the United States, the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and update its advice for Canadian travellers," it said.

9 airports will welcome international flights as of August 9

At the same time, in support of these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the list of airports that can accommodate international commercial passenger flights.

In addition to the four currently authorized Canadian international airports – Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR) and Calgary (YYC) – the following five international airports will be added to the list as of August 9:

  • Halifax Stanfield Airport (YHZ);
  • Québec City Jean-Lesage Airport (YQB);
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport (YOW);
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport (YWG);
  • Edmonton Airport (YEG).

These airports, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the necessary measures to re-greet international passengers as soon as possible after August 9 in complete safety, according to the conditions," it said.

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