Setting the stage for the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions, the Canadian government has announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures. Non-essential travel can resume and one can expect the easing of on-arrival testing for fully-vaccinated travellers.
According to a media release issued by the government, “Recent data indicates that the latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant has passed its peak in Canada. As provinces and territories adjust their public health measures, and as we transition away from the crisis phase, it is now time to move towards a more sustainable approach to long-term management of COVID-19.”
As we close on two years since the pandemic forced Canada into a slew of lockdowns and restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, citizens and residents alike can now finally set their sights on the possibility of travel.
Expect these changes in travel restrictions starting February 28, 2022, if you are travelling to or from Canada
- On-arrival testing for fully-vaccinated travellers to be eased. Travellers arriving in Canada from abroad, who are fully vaccinated, will be randomly selected for arrival testing. Travellers selected will also no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting their test results. Children under 12 years old, travelling with fully-vaccinated adults, will continue to be exempt from quarantine, without any prescribed conditions limiting their activities. This means, for example, they no longer need to wait 14 days before attending school, camp or daycare.
- Fully vaccinated travellers will now have the following testing options:
– Using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test authorised by the country in which it was purchased and must be administered by a laboratory, healthcare entity or telehealth service. Those opting for an antigen test will have to get it done within 24 hours of their departure/arrival at the border.
– Or, a molecular test (PCR test) taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival to meet pre-entry requirements.
- Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be required to test on arrival, and quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of the few exemptions.
- Canada will change its Travel Health Notice from Level 3 to Level 2. This means that the government will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes. However, one is cautioned on risks still associated with international travel due to COVID-19.
LIVE: Federal ministers announce changes to COVID-19 border measures https://t.co/5ZHsU4012I
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) February 15, 2022
While the easing of travel restrictions is a welcome change, the government can modify or renege the changes following a reassessment of the pandemic situation should the need arise.
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