The purpose of a border is to regulate who can or cannot enter a country. Before COVID-19, most people were required to present a valid visa that met the requirements to enter/remain in Canada, along with appropriate reasons, documents that prove intentions and funds to support themselves during their stay. Yet, the border officer has discretionary power to examine each person seeking entry and determine whether or not that person should be authorized to enter Canada.
Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s borders have never been truly closed but the requirements increased.
As the pandemic seems to be beginning to resolve, Canadian borders will increase the intake of travellers and reduce restrictions gradually, it will not all happen at once. Canada will slowly increase the number of permissible reasons for crossing the border.
In June, Canada finally lifted restrictions on approved permanent residence applicants, thousands of whom have been waiting to move to Canada since March 2020.
In July, Canada began rolling back quarantine requirements for individuals who have proof of full vaccination.
Starting on August 9th, the 3-night hotel stopover requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air.
Also, fully vaccinated travellers from the United States, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, will be eligible to enter the country.
Canada has also announced that a ban on commercial and passenger flights from India will be extended until at least August 21, 2021.
By September 7, 2021 fully vaccinated non-essential travellers from all countries will be eligible to enter Canada.
Note that you must have received one of the four authorized vaccines: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Jansen.
Some other border measures will accompany the relaxed travel restrictions:
Pre-arrival COVID-19 test: All travellers will still require a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.
For travellers arriving at the land border with the U.S., this test must be taken within 72 hours of arriving at the Canadian border. For air travellers, this test must be taken within 72 hours of flight departure.
On-arrival COVID-19 test: Currently, all travellers arriving in Canada must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada. As of August 9, 2021, a new randomized testing system will be implemented for fully vaccinated travellers. Only fully vaccinated travellers who are randomly selected will have to complete an on-arrival COVID-19 test. All unvaccinated/partially vaccinated travellers will still have to take an on-arrival test.
Children under the age of 12: Canada will update the rules for children under age 12 who are not eligible for a vaccine. Starting August 9, unvaccinated dependents of fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to complete the full 14-day quarantine. Instead, they will have to follow public health measures for that amount of time. They will still be subject to all entry and testing requirements, including on-arrival and day eight testing. This includes those travelling from the U.S. for discretionary purposes. Officials also said that come September when tourists from all countries are allowed to enter, these measures will apply to their unvaccinated children as well. There is no list of activities that children can and cannot do at this time, but children will have to avoid group settings such as school and daycare in the two weeks following their arrival to Canada.
Provinces and territories may have their own rules around people who have recently returned from travel.
Proof of vaccination
Adults entering will need to present proof (in either English or French) that they've received a complete round of one of the vaccines approved for use in Canada. That means two doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca products or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days before arriving.
What we expect next:
Openness to other vaccines
Lift of quarantine requirements to all travellers
Although we are optimistic about the measures coming soon, it all depends on the numbers of covid-19 cases after a few weeks of new measures being announced.
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