Canada has proposed plans to remove hotel quarantine and 14-day self-isolation for fully vaccinated Canadian travelers.
The Canadian Health Minister, Patty Hajdu, declared the first steps in easing Canada’s border restrictions which are expected to begin in July. Canada has restricted all non-essential travel since the pandemic began. That includes closing the border between Canada and the United States.
However, the move follows pressure to stop hotel quarantine and enable Canadians to freely travel.
The Travelers Who Can Skip Hotel Quaratine and Self Isolation
Travelers will need to have taken their vaccination procedure at least 14 days before entering Canada. If travelers have had their vaccination in under 14 days before arrival, the government will consider the travelers unvaccinated.
The government will also consider those who’ve taken the following vaccines as fully vaccinated:
- Johnson & Johnson
In addition, travelers will need to show a negative pre-departure PCR test before arrival. They will also have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Travelers will need to self-isolate until they get the results of their most recent test. Of course, this result needs to come back negative or the government will require travelers to undergo further self-isolation.
The removal of restrictions will apply to any Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have received two covid-19 vaccine doses or the one dose J & J. The health minister suggested there are no plans to remove quarantine for partially vaccinated travelers yet.
However, it remains unknown if Canada will ease restrictions for international travelers anytime soon.
The Date Of The Restriction Easing
The Canadian Health Minister did not give a definite date for the easing of restrictions. Nonetheless, she did suggest an easing in “early July,” which could be around the time Canada vaccinates 75% of its population and the border between Canada and the United States reopens.
The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, suggested the easing of restrictions will only be implemented if COVID-19 cases continue to drop and the vaccination roll-out continues to run smoothly.
However, when the media pressed the health minister for extra detail, she responded with “What we want to do is take things carefully and cautiously so that we can sustain this recovery for Canadians.”
Canada’s vaccination roll-out has gained speed lately, with 26.9 million vaccine doses and 62% of the population partially vaccinated. Only 8% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, therefore most Canadians would still have to quarantine on return unless they get a second jab 14 days before arrival.
The Current Travel Restrictions
All Canadian citizens who are non-essential travelers must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation once they return to Canada. Travelers will also face multiple COVID-19 tests before and after traveling into Canada.
In addition, all travelers who enter Canada by air will have to stay at a quarantined hotel for up to three days. In contrast, travelers who enter Canada via land border will not have to quarantine in a hotel.
Proof Of Vaccination
One of the biggest questions is how travelers will prove they’ve received a vaccine. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs suggested various provinces are working towards a vaccine passport for Canadians traveling overseas.
However, the minister believes that a vaccine passport would not be ready by July if the government eases restrictions. Instead, he suggested, “The border agents will have everything they need to ensure there are temporary measures until the national vaccination evidence or vaccine passport is ready.”
The news that Canada is considering removing hotel quarantine for returning travelers is massive news for the Canadian travel industry. It could signal a return to overseas travel for Canadians within the summer and much-needed revenue for travel companies on either side of the border.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories