As of July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, Canada will begin phase one of easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers entering the country. Fully vaccinated Canadians, those registered under the Indian Act and permanent residents will be allowed to enter the country without having to quarantine for 14 days. In phase one, however, foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption (such as being an international student), will not be exempt from quarantine, the mandatory hotel stay, or day-8 testing. There are also no exceptions for those who are only partially vaccinated.
According to the press release, avoidance of the quarantine will not be automatic. There are procedures in place that must be adhered to in order to skip the quarantine. The government website states that “To be approved, travellers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information into ArriveCAN in advance of their arrival, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic, and have a suitable quarantine plan. Acceptable supporting proof of vaccination…is also required. Final determination regarding exemptions is made by a government representative at the border based on the information presented at the time of entry into Canada, which is why a quarantine plan is still required.”
Furthermore, unvaccinated minors or dependent adults who are travelling with fully vaccinated travellers must still quarantine for two weeks and follow all testing requirements, however, they are not required to stay at a government-authorized quarantine hotel.
To be considered fully vaccinated, you must:
- be eligible to enter Canada
- have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines
- have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to entering Canada
- upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
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- Pfizer (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
- Moderna (mRNA-1273)
- AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, AZD1222, Covishield)
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – single dose
Fully vaccinated travellers must follow the entry requirements, which include a pre-entry test (see, pre-entry testing for air travellers and pre-entry testing for land travellers). They must also provide a quarantine plan where they can stay for at least 14 days. According to the website: “pre- and on-arrival testing requirements for travellers arriving to Canada by air or land continue to apply for everyone, unless otherwise exempted.
- Unless exempt, all travellers, five years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must:
- provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at a land border crossing (if arriving by land the test must be done in the U.S.), or
- provide proof a positive COVID-19 test taken between 14 and 90 days before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border crossing, and
- take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada either at the airport or land border, following instructions provided to you by a government official upon entry to Canada.
- Travellers must retain copies of their test results for the full 14 days after entry to Canada, and be prepared to present them to a government official on demand.
Final determination of whether or not a person is exempt is made by a government representative at the border based on the information they present and whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms.
Provinces and territories may have their own border measures as well as public health guidelines, so it’s vital that travellers have the most up-to-date travel requirements for the province or territory of destination.
More information can be found on the government website.