Here are Canada's rules for fully vaccinated travellers as of April 1Brooklyn NeustaeterCTVNews.ca Writer
Published Friday, April 1, 2022 6:30AM EDTLast Updated Friday, April 1, 2022 6:30AM EDT
As the federal government loosens testing requirements for international travel, more Canadians are looking to hop on a plane and take a trip abroad.
While many Canadians remain anxious about travelling, some are ready to jet off after more than two years in a pandemic with stringent public health measures.
While the federal government has removed pre-entry testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians, some pandemic-related travel rules remain in effect. CTVNews.ca breaks down what travellers need to know for April 1.
PRE-ENTRY TEST NO LONGER REQUIRED
As of April 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. ET, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.
Passengers may still be subjected to mandatory, random PCR testing at the airport -- in part to monitor for new, emerging COVID-19 variants -- though they will not be required to isolate while awaiting their results.
Eliminating the testing requirement, which was announced by the federal government in March, is something that travel and tourism organizations as well as the mayors of border towns have been calling for, arguing that the requirement is not justified by science and presented an unnecessary logistical and financial burden on travellers.
However, federal officials say they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada and abroad, and changes may be made to travel requirements as the epidemiological situation evolves.
PROOF OF VACCINATION STILL NEEDED
Despite pre-entry test requirements lifting, the requirement to be fully vaccinated with a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine in order to board federally-regulated air, rail, and marine transportation remains in effect, with the government indicating no intention to lift the policy for travel at this time.
In addition, travellers still have to use the ArriveCAN app to enter their proof of vaccination and other required information, including a potential quarantine plan, before arriving in Canada. Travellers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before boarding.
Travellers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
TRAVELLERS WHO ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED
Pre-entry testing requirements are not changing for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada.
Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers age five or older who do not qualify as fully vaccinated – having received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel or a mix of two vaccines -- must continue to provide proof of a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result.
Accepted pre-entry tests include a health professional-administered negative rapid antigen test taken no more than one day before arriving at a port of entry, or a negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before a scheduled flight or crossing at a land border.
Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers may also provide a positive molecular test taken at least 10 days and no more than 180 days before their scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border to enter Canada. Positive antigen test results are not accepted.
The government recommends completing a COVID-19 vaccine series, along with any additional recommended doses in Canada, at least 14 days before travelling internationally. Fore those who must travel, the government suggests delaying one's plans until they are fully vaccinated.
"Anyone who has not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations," the government says.
BEFORE YOU GO
Prior to travelling, the government recommends checking the COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements, as well as other entry requirements, at one's destination as they may be different from Canada's rules.
For example, all air passengers two years or older with a flight departing to the U.S. from a foreign country -- regardless of their vaccination status -- are still required to show a negative COVID-19 antigen test result taken no more than one day before departure, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
Travellers are also advised by the Canadian government to monitor the COVID-19 situation at their destination in the days before travelling should the status of COVID-19 infections and public health requirements there change.
Cruise passengers will still be required to take an antigen test in order to board a ship no more than one day before their scheduled departure, but will no longer need to be tested before getting off the ship.
All other requirements for cruises, including providing proof of vaccination before boarding, remain in place.
The government continues to warn travellers that the virus can spread easily between people in close quarters, such as on cruise ships. The government says the chance of being infected with COVID-19 on cruise ships is still "very high," even for those who are fully vaccinated.
As of April 1, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. ET, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. However, other pandemic-related travel rules are still in effect.