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Government of Canada announces easing of COVID-19 border measures

A grounded Air Canada plane

The Government of Canada has announced that it will soon begin easing border restrictions for international travellers.

On September 7, provided that the COVID-19 situation in Canada remains favourable, the Government of Canada intends to open the country’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers must have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days before entering Canada and meet specific entry requirements.

As a first step, starting August 9, Canada will begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently living in the United States and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering Canada for non-essential travel.

All travellers, aside from some limited exceptions, must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet other specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

Additionally, the government announced that the mandatory three-night hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 am EDT on August 9.

Fully vaccinated travellers, who meet the requirements, will be exempt from quarantine. However, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine if it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

“With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures,” said Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health. “A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

Also starting August 9, international passenger flights will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport

This is addition to the four airports currently accepting international flights: Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.

All travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, still require a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight to Canada. However, starting August 9, fully vaccinated travellers will not need to have a test after they arrive unless they are randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 test.

There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

And Canada’s ban on direct flights from India has been extended until August 21. During that time, travellers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route must obtain a negative COVID-19 test result from a third country before boarding a flight to Canada.

Published on July 20, 2021.