Canada’s new border rules have kicked in today, which means Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated can enter the country without the 14-day quarantine.
Canadians No Longer Have To Quarantine When Entering The Country
As of Monday, Canadians and permanent residents who have been fully vaccinated by a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada can now skip the 14-day quarantine under the new border rules, which is the first change since March 2020.
Approved vaccines include Phizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.
Travelers will need to have gotten fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering Canada. Additionally, travelers will need to show a negative pre-departure PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival and upload the vaccine certificate and COVID-19 test information on the updated ArriveCAN app.
Travelers must also take another COVID-19 test upon arrival but can go home while waiting for the results. Vaccinated travelers are also exempt from the requirement that they spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel.
Travelers are still required to submit a suitable quarantine plan even if they’re seeking the fully vaccinated exemption according to the government’s website.
Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease physician with Trillium Health Partners, said easing the border restrictions makes sense looking at the current risk level.
“Before, all we talked about was COVID risk. But now that we’ve been able to defang the virus with vaccines — these vaccines are wonderful — we can now bring in a risk trade-off,” he said.
“We now know bringing in travelers can be done because the illness isn’t as severe.”
Children under the age of 12, who aren’t yet eligible to receive a vaccine, still have to quarantine. But if they are arriving by air with fully vaccinated parents they can stay home for two weeks rather then going to a quarantine hotel.
Anyone who arrived before Monday will still be required to spend a full two weeks in quarantine upon arrival, said the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Canada Still Not Open For Tourism
These new rules do not apply to non-residents hoping to visit Canada, even if they are fully vaccinated.
“If you were unable to come to Canada on July 4 of this year, you can’t come in on July 5 — there’s been no change to all of the restrictions and the provisions that have been issued on that front,” said Denis Vinette, CBSA vice-president, travelers branch.
“However, for those that can come to Canada, it’s a very cautious, early first step in starting to delay or remove some requirements at the border,” said Denis Vinette, CBSA vice-president, travelers branch.
“I think we can expect, certainly in the early days, individuals believing that, you know, July 5 is here, Canada is now open for tourism, recreation and things of that nature. That is not the case,” he said.
Border restrictions between Canada and the US remain in place between the two countries until July 21st. It’s not known if these will be extended for another month, as the federal government has yet to lay out a plan for a phase 2 reopening.
At a press conference last month, the prime minister of Canada said that they are talking about a matter of weeks for the border reopening.
“We’re very hopeful that we’re going to see new steps on reopening announced in the coming weeks,” said Trudeau said during an announcement in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. today.
“We’re going to make sure that we’re not seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases because nobody wants to go back to further restrictions, after having done so much and sacrificed so much to get to this point.”
Newfoundland Now Open To Rest of Canada
The loosening of border restrictions comes on the same day that Newfoundland opens itself up to Canada for the first time since the pandemic started.
Now, people in Canada from outside the Atlantic region can enter the province without exemptions or a 14-day isolation period for non-essential travel.
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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