Canada immigration news: Canada has scrapped the need for pre-entry COVID-19 tests for children aged five through to 11 and expanded its list of accepted vaccines for exemption from travel restrictions.
On Apr. 25, the federal government dropped the need for these test results for children that age who are less than fully vaccinated against the coronavirus provided they are accompanied upon their entry to Canada by a fully-vaccinated adult.
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“They (are) exempt from quarantine, without any limitations on their activities,” notes the government on its travel website.
“This means, for example, they don’t need to wait 14 days before attending school, camp or daycare. However, they will need to wear a mask in public settings, including school, for 14 days after arrival to Canada.”
Travellers Chosen at Random Must Use Self-Swab Kits to Test for COVID-19
The only caveat is these children can still be required to undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival if their parent is randomly selected for testing him or herself.
“When you arrive at a land border crossing, if you’re selected you’ll be given a self-swab kit to complete,” notes the federal government’s COVID-19 travel website.
“You’ll need to follow the instructions in your self-swab kit to complete the test at your destination. Use only the test kits that you received at the border, not any other test kits you may have. The instructions, weblinks and telephone numbers are all provided in the kit.”
Children under five years old are exempt from Canada’s vaccination requirements, pre-entry testing, arrival testing and quarantine.
On the same day, Ottawa dropped the pre-test requirement for these children, it also began accepting travellers into Canada who was fully vaccinated with Medicago’s plant-based Covifenz vaccine.
“(You) have the option to select this vaccine when submitting your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN,” notes the federal government’s travel website.
With the addition of Covifenz, the country now accepts travellers as fully protected against the coronavirus with any one of nine vaccines.
- AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD;
- Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin;
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson;
- Medicago’s Covifenz;
- Moderna’s Spikevax;
- Novavax’s Nuvaxovid;
- Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty;
- Sinopharm’s BIBP, and;
- Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
All Travellers to Canada Need to Use ArriveCAN
Ottawa considers travellers fully vaccinated when they have had at least two doses of one of these approved vaccines or a mix of two accepted doses, or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two weeks prior to the day of travel.
The latest easing of travel restrictions came less than a month after Ottawa started allowing fully-vaccinated travellers to come into Canada without getting tested for COVID-19 unless randomly chosen for that testing on Apr. 1.
All travellers must still use the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours of their arrival in Canada to update their information.
“Travellers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status,” states Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website.
“Travellers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before boarding.”
Some Canadians Call For Dropping Of All Public Health Travel Restrictions
Failure to use the ArriveCAN app can result in a $5,000 fine.
On social media, many suggested Canada’s easing of COVID-19 public health restrictions does not go far enough.
“How about we negate the restrictions completely?” suggested one Twitter user. “More and more people, both vaxed and unvaxxed are testing positive with zero symptoms.”
Another complained that the unvaccinated who have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 already have natural immunity and so should not be required to be vaccinated to travel.