COVID-19 Update: Fewer Border Restrictions in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government has secured 9.1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It is set to arrive in August, there is also an option for 3 million more to arrive sometime in September. A total of 29 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in Canada, with 25 million of them administered by the provinces and territories.

As of May 29, 65 percent of the population that are 12 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This puts Canada at a ranking of 14th internationally in terms of the percentage of the population vaccinated with one dose.

As a result, there are talks in the government to have fewer border restrictions in Canada.

Plans for Return of International Travellers to Canada


Source: CTV News

The federal government is looking to take a phased approach in welcoming back international visitors, as the pandemic restrictions loosen. Anyone coming to Canada will need to be fully vaccinated before arriving, as the government doesn’t want to risk another wave of COVID-19.

” We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. We are looking at how we're going to start welcoming up tourists in a phased way as the numbers come down in Canada, as the numbers start to come down in the United States and elsewhere around the world," Trudeau said.

Canada’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel has set out a comprehensive structure on how to adapt quarantine and testing rules for those wanting to travel to Canada. Travellers will fall under three categories: not vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated arriving into the country.

The recommendations are as follows:

Unvaccinated travellers going to Canada

For unvaccinated travellers, it recommends the usual 72-hour pre-departure test, the arrival test, approved quarantine plan, and a day seven follow-up test.

Partially vaccinated travellers going to Canada

The recommendation is that travellers should provide acceptable proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as defined by the government. This comes with a precondition that travellers outside of the maximum recommended two-dose interval period are considered unvaccinated. The remaining steps are applied the same as those who are unvaccinated, with the exception that the quarantine period will only last until the traveller receives their negative PCR test. The seventh-day follow-up is also not required.

Fully vaccinated travellers going to Canada

For fully vaccinated travellers, they recommend that travellers should provide acceptable proof of their vaccination, as defined by the government just as they do for partially vaccinated travellers. They propose a PCR test upon arrival for surveillance purposes and no quarantine is required unless the on-arrival test comes back positive.

There is a possibility that the restriction of non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada, which has been happening since March 2020, will expire on June 21, 2021. This will become a reality only if 75 percent of Canadians are vaccinated with one dose and 20 percent are vaccinated with two doses.

Further talks of fewer border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce also issued a press release stating that it recommends that from June 22, the American and Canadian governments recognize vaccine credentials and allow fully vaccinated travellers to travel to Canada without having to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result. They also recommend that the mandatory quarantine be removed as well as create a plan for travellers using all modes of transportation.

The talks of wanting fewer border restrictions in Canada come as the rates of vaccinated people between both Canada and the U.S. are high.

“Travellers allowed to cross the border would, of course, be required to comply with all applicable state, provincial, territorial, indigenous and local public health guidelines. Amending the Joint Initiative to take account of rising vaccination levels would sustain jobs, boost business confidence and allow more families to reunite. It would help facilitate a safe and gradual return to a more normal life.” - the release reads.

Travellers coming from outside the US who are exempt from the travel restrictions


To be eligible, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • temporary foreign workers;
  • some international students;
  • some people who have been approved to become a permanent resident of Canada, but who are not yet permanent residents;
  • immediate family members with written authorization from IRCC to reunite with a temporary resident of Canada;
  • transiting passengers (must remain in the secure transit area of a Canadian airport to complete their connection);
  • members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces coming to perform official duties, Department of National Defence and their immediate family members;
  • accredited diplomats and their immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations);
  • air and marine crew members;
  • French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have been in only Canada, the U.S. or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days before the day they seek to enter Canada;
  • any person who does not pose significant harm to public health, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and who will provide an essential service while in Canada;
  • any person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest, in the opinion of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; or Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  • any person who is coming at the invitation of the Minister of Health for COVID-19 assistance;
  • any person whose purpose is to make medical deliveries;

If you would like to travel to Canada, click the link below to fill out the form and see if you’re eligible. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) can help you navigate through over 100 immigration pathways.