LATEST COVID-19 NEWS UPDATE: in a recent speech on June 22, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada is planning to further ease travel restrictions!
Following an announcement made just one day earlier on June 21, where it was confirmed that those who had received their full COVID-19 vaccinations would be allowed to enter Canada without having to quarantine for 14 days.
This is the first phase in the plan to ease border measures for travellers entering Canada, which will start as of July 5, 2021.
- fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8;
- fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel
How do I know if I’m fully vaccinated according to Canadian regulations?
To be considered fully vaccinated in Canada, travellers need to have received a full series of a government-approved vaccine or combination of vaccines at least 14 days before entering Canada.
- AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
You will, however, need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination in either English or French and be asymptomatic. This documentation can either be a paper or digital copy. Travellers will also be required to submit all necessary documentation through the ArriveCAN app.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will have to adhere to the federal quarantine requirements.
When will Canada’s borders open to tourists?
To date, it has not yet been confirmed when travellers would be able to visit Canada as tourists. Public safety manager Bill Blair, however, stated in a CBC interview that the federal government aims to see at least 75 percent of Canadians fully vaccinated before opening up the borders, which could be as early as July 21.
The main concern is that if borders are reopened too soon, it could jeopardise the progress already made with regards to keeping the spread of pandemic under control. Although those vaccinated may avoid falling ill, the risk of transmission was still high.
Current Rate of COVID-19 Vaccinations
As it stands, 24.4 million people (64.23 percent of the population) have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an announcement from the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Theresa Tam stated that the government is currently tracking and monitoring where the disease is most active, where it is spreading and how it is affecting the Canadian public’s health.
In the past 7 days (June 16 to June 22, 2021), there has been a continued decline in infection rates across the country. The number of new COVID-19 cases dropped by 31 percent in comparison to the previous week.
COVID-19 travel restrictions: Who can enter Canada?
As of June 21, it was decided that anyone who has been approved for permanent residence would be able to travel to Canada. This means that 23,000 people who had already been approved for permanent residency in Canada can now finally start their new life in Canada.
Previously, only those who had a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) issued on or before March 18, 2020 could enter Canada without being affected by the travel restrictions. Those who received their COPR after March 18 needed to meet and additional exemption or enter from the U.S.
COVID-19 travel restrictions still in effect
Direct passengers from India unfortunately are still unable to travel to Canada at this time, however the travel ban for Pakistan has been lifted.
Previously, passengers from India and Pakistan were not allowed to enter Canada. This came into effect on April 22, 2020.
This does not, however, mean that all travelers from India cannot enter Canada. Travellers can choose to take an indirect route to Canada however will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result obtained from their last point of departure.