Canada immigration news: Fully vaccinated international students coming to study in Canada are among those will who soon be able to travel without having to stay in quarantine for two weeks once they test negative for COVID-19.
The relaxation of travel curbs also covers citizens and permanent residents, plus those covered by existing exemptions, provided they have a negative test.
The new measures take effect starting July 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Under the first tentative steps to re-opening Canada, fully-vaccinated travellers entering Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on the eighth day. Fully-vaccinated travellers arriving by air will also no longer need to stay at government-authorized hotels.
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“This is the first phase of our precautionary approach to easing Canada’s border measures. At this time we are not opening up our borders any further,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
“The Government of Canada continues to work globally through the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as closely with the provinces, territories, indigenous partners and American authorities on moving forward toward re-opening in a way that is safe for both countries.”
To be considered “fully vaccinated,” a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine or combination of vaccines accepted by Ottawa at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Approved
Those vaccines are the ones manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Johnson & Johnson. Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.
For these new measures to apply to them, fully-vaccinated travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre-and on-arrival testing to allow public health experts to keep monitoring positivity rates at the border, monitor for variants of concern, and make further adjustments to border measures as needed.
There is no change in Canada’s current border measures for travellers who are not yet fully vaccinated.
They must continue to adhere to the current testing and federal quarantine requirements, which have been effective in reducing importation and transmission of COVID-19 and variants in Canada, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through the ArriveCAN app before arriving in Canada.
Unvaccinated air travellers must also still book a three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel before their departure to Canada.
Canada Is Monitoring COVID-19 Test Results To Prevent Spread
“Our government continues to closely monitor traveller positivity rates upon entry to Canada, to help protect Canadians,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “Given the number of COVID-19 cases continues to be very high in India, we have extended our flight restrictions for this country. We will continue to assess the evolving situation and determine appropriate action going forward.”
Health Minister Patty Hajdu lauded Canadians who stepped up to get their first and second doses of the vaccine, saying it is their efforts that made this re-opening possible. She also urged any Canadians who have not yet been vaccinated or gotten a second dose to do so as soon as possible.
During the pandemic, immigration to Canada slowed to a trickle. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched several new pathways to permanent residency, created new ways to get temporary work permits, and opened up the doors wider to refugees to make up for the shortfall.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said he welcomes the gradual, cautious re-opening of the country to international travelers.
“The safety and security of Canadians remain our top priority as we look to support the careful and safe arrival of new permanent residents to Canada over the next year,” said Mendicino.
“These new permanent residents will finally be able to start their new life in Canada and Canada will benefit from their skills when we pivot to post-pandemic economic recovery,” he said. “At the same time, we’ll continue to offer protection to those who need it most, and keep our place as a global leader in providing a safe haven for refugees.”
COPR Holders Now Allowed To Come To Canada
Anyone who holds a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) approved on or before March 18 last year is allowed to enter Canada.
As of June 21, any foreign national who holds a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence is allowed to travel to Canada and the IRCC has promised to work with applicants who have a COPR that is expiring or has expired.
Under the Quarantine Act, anyone who submits false information on vaccination status or fails to follow the conditions of a quarantine order could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
They could also face prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery for falsification of information.