Fully-vaccinated travellers will once again be able to come to Canada without needing to be tested for COVID-19 – unless they are randomly chosen for such testing – starting Feb. 28 as the country relaxes its public health restrictions.
Those will also no longer need to be quarantined for 14 days – and any of their unvaccinated children under 12 years of age who are travelling with them will also no longer need to self-isolate.
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“For two years now, our government’s actions in the fight against COVID-19 have been based on prudence and science. Today’s announcements are a reflection of the progress we have made against this current Omicron variant,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Tuesday.
Unvaccinated Canadian Travellers Still Need to Get Tested and Quarantine
“The return to mandatory random testing of all vaccinated travellers will facilitate travel for Canadians all while helping our public health authorities to detect future changes in COVID-19 importation rates and variants of concern. As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, for potential future scenarios.”
Unvaccinated Canadian travellers will still need to get tested upon arrival, on the eighth day after coming into the country, and quarantine for 14 days.
With today’s announcement, Ottawa is giving travellers the option of using a COVID-19 rapid antigen test result, taken the day prior to their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry, or a molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry to meet pre-entry requirements.
Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter the country unless they meet one of a few exemptions.
In Canada, only 18 airports are currently allowed to receive international flights under the existing public health restrictions. With today’s announcement, all airports in Canada will be able to receive international flights as of Feb. 28.
“The measures we are announcing today are possible in part because Canadians have stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.
Advisory Against Non-Essential Travel Is Being Lifted
“These measures will allow vaccinated Canadians to once again reunite with family and friends and reap the economic benefit that travel provides. We will continue to evaluate our measures and will not hesitate to make necessary adjustments to keep Canadians and our transportation system safe.”
Canada’s advisory against international travel is also being lifted, allowing Canadians to travel outside the country for non-essential reasons.
Despite the lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel, the federal government is still warning travellers that the risks associated with international travel remain high as the world continues to grapple with the Omicron variant.
“We are committed to a safe reopening; one that provides predictability, flexibility and shows the world that Canada is one of the safest places to travel,” said Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault.
The tourism minister praised the Canadian tourism industry for being a world leader in ensuring the safety of travellers while weathering a challenging economic crisis.
“Let me be clear that the Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers and today’s measures will help us safely welcome visitors to Canada,” he said.
All travellers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, still need to submit their mandatory information using the ArriveCAN app, including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada.