In effect as of at 1 a.m. EDT on April 25, the changes pertain to those who are fully vaccinated, as well as children regardless of their vaccination status. International travellers will also notice updated requirements on providing a quarantine plan following their arrival in Canada.
Below is everything travellers need to know about Canada’s updated border restrictions.
WHO IS IMPACTED AND HOW?
Children aged five to 11 who are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian will no longer be required to complete a COVID-19 test prior to entering Canada, regardless of whether the child is unvaccinated. This is according to an announcement made by the Public Health Agency of Canada on April 22.
Children under the age of five won’t be required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test either, and are exempt for vaccination requirements. Travellers aged 12 and older who are either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated will still need to perform a COVID-19 test prior to entering Canada by land, air or water.
WILL YOU NEED TO QUARANTINE OR WEAR MASKS AFTER TRAVELLING?
As a result of the changes, certain travellers are no longer required to prepare a plan to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Canada. This applies to travellers aged 12 and older who are fully vaccinated, as well as children aged five to 11 who are travelling with a parent or guardian who is fully vaccinated.
Those with a valid medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines won’t be required to provide a quarantine plan when entering Canada either. Additionally, if a traveller starts to show symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive after arriving in Canada, those travelling in the same group will not be required to quarantine, according to the new measures.
The federal government has also dropped its requirement for those entering the country to monitor for and report any COVID-19 symptoms they experience. Those travelling from abroad also won’t be required to keep a list of close contacts and places visited for the first 14 days after their arrival in Canada.
Canadian adults and children aged five and older who are fully vaccinated are no longer expected to wear a mask in public spaces for 14 days following their arrival in Canada. However, children aged five to 11 who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must continue to wear masks in public settings, such as school, for 14 days after entering Canada.
All travellers are also still required to wear a mask while travelling on federally-regulated modes of transportation, such as a plane or train, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
WHAT MEASURES ARE STILL IN EFFECT?
Vaccine and mask mandates for anyone travelling by plane, train or cruise ship to Canada remain in effect, federal public health officials have said.
“Right now, of course within the Canadian context, Omicron BA.2 is going strong… I think it’s one of the least intrusive measures but adds definitely another layer of protection,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said when discussing the mask mandate on April 22.
Those looking to enter Canada who are not fully vaccinated are still required to perform a COVID-19 molecular test once they arrive, and on the eighth day of their 14-day quarantine. Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Canada will also continue to be subject to random testing, but are no longer required to quarantine while waiting for results if they are selected. The government’s mandatory random testing program is in effect in four major international airports across Canada, located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
All travellers are also still expected to use the ArriveCAN app or webpage to submit necessary travel information, including their proof of vaccination. These details must be provided within 72 hours of arriving in Canada, or prior to boarding. Any travellers who fail to comply could be fined $5,000.
With files from CTV’s Rachel Aiello and The Canadian Press.