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Government of Canada announces more changes to COVID‑19 border measures

Air Canada plane with pleasant blue sky in background

The Government of Canada recently announced changes to its COVID-19 border measures.

Starting November 30, Canada is expanding the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travelling to Canada. The list now includes: Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN in addition to Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Fully vaccinated travellers, who meet the requirements, are 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.

Also starting November 30, vaccination is required for travel within and out of Canada. A valid COVID-19 molecular test is no longer accepted as an alternative to vaccination, unless travellers are eligible for one of the limited exemptions, such as a medical inability to be vaccinated.

The Government of Canada also announced that starting January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:

  • International students who are 18 years old or older
  • Individuals travelling to reunite with family
  • Professional and amateur athletes
  • Individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers
  • Essential service providers, including truck drivers

After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet the criteria for limited exceptions, which apply to certain groups, such as agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, those entering on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees and some children under the age of 18.

Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine and other entry requirements.

Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited from entering Canada.

Travellers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border.

“Requiring foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated adds another important layer of protection at the border,” said Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Many foreign nationals and international students arriving in Canada are already fully vaccinated, and the measures announced today will help ensure that Canadians remain protected against COVID-19 as the economy reopens and international travel returns.”

Published on Nov. 29, 2021.