Canada’s travel restrictions are easing up a little more today (Sept. 7) as travellers from around the world who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will, once again, be allowed to enter the country.
As of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, all foreign nationals who have received a vaccine authorized for use by Health Canada will be allowed onto Canadian soil for non-essential purposes (such as tourism) and, conveniently, will not need to quarantine for 14 days.
Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are the four COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by Health Canada.
Travellers coming to Canada must:
- Be vaccinated for at least 14 days
- Show proof of their full series of shots
- Have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test result taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or their arrival at the land border crossing. Or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada.
- Be asymptomatic
- Submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (App or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan
- Be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
- Take a test on arrival (if selected).
Antigen tests (also known as “rapid tests”) are still not accepted by the Government of Canada.
Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age of fully vaccinated parents and/or guardians are exempt from quarantine when accompanied by their fully vaccinated guardians (but must follow enhanced public health measures, which includes not attending daycare or school for 14 days).
Unvaccinated children between the ages of 12 to 17 and dependent children 18 or older (due to a mental or physical condition) are permitted to enter Canada with their fully vaccinated guardians (but are subject to the 14-day quarantine).
There are no changes to testing and quarantine requirements for travellers who are not fully vaccinated but eligible to enter Canada.
Non-vaccinated travellers are still subject to quarantine, all testing requirements (pre-arrival, upon arrival/day one and on day eight) and the mandatory submission of travel, contact and quarantine information via ArriveCAN.
For a detailed breakdown of Canada’s entry requirements, click here.
The loosening of international restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers was first announced on July 19.
Despite the relaxed restrictions for inbound travellers, the federal government is still advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.
Long wait times expected
The loosening of rules is expected to result in higher traffic volumes at Canadian airports.
As such, airports are advising travellers to arrive earlier and prepare for longer wait times.
Toronto Pearson International Airport, on Monday (Sept. 6), issued a statement to prepare travellers for “an airport experience that differs from pre-pandemic times.”
For departing domestic passengers, Pearson is asking passengers to arrive at the airport “at least 90 minutes in advance of your flight.”
For departing international passengers, the recommendation is to arrive “at least three hours” in advance.
“The arrivals process for international travellers could take three hours or longer depending on your specific set of circumstances,” Toronto Pearson airport said.
Click here to read Toronto Pearson’s detailed FAQ for travellers.
The move to ease restrictions for international travellers follows Canada’s decision last month to allow fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into the country.
The United States has yet to reciprocate as fully vaccinated Canadians are still not permitted to cross land borders (Canadians can fly to the U.S., however).
Transport Canada, meanwhile, still has select flight bans in place: direct passenger flights to Canada from India are currently restricted until at least Sept. 21, 2021.
Additionally, all direct passenger flights to Canada from Morocco have been banned until at least Sept. 29, 2021.
Cargo-only operations, medical transfers and military flights will continue to operate.