Canada begins easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals
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Canada begins easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced Monday the easing of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals starting August 9 for US citizens and permanent residents, and September 7 for other foreign nationals.

All travelers are required to be fully vaccinated by Canadian standards at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Acceptable vaccines by Canadian standards include those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Additionally, all travelers are required to undergo a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test, regardless of their vaccination status. However, fully vaccinated travelers will be exempt from a post-arrival test unless randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test.

Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age and dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition) of fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to complete a 14-day quarantine, but must follow “strict public health measures” including avoiding group settings such as camps or daycares during the first 14 days of arrival in Canada. Additionally, unvaccinated children remain subject to the Day 1 and Day 8 testing requirements and any additional requirements prescribed by provincial law.

Travelers are required to use ArriveCAN mobile app or web portal to submit COVID-19-related information and proof of vaccination prior to departing for Canada. If approved, the travelers will be exempt from quarantine upon arrival. Travelers must also be ready to show a paper or digital copy of vaccination documentation upon request from the government.

Submission of false information on vaccination status can subject travelers to fines up to CA $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travelers by a screening or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offense punishable under the Quarantine Act with a maximum fine of CA $5,000 per day of noncompliance or for each offense committed. Noncompliant travelers may also be subject to fines of up to CA $5,000 for each offense committed under the Aeronautics Act.

Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc stated on the border reopening:

The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Using a risk-based and measured approach to easing border measures will allow for non-essential international travellers who meet vaccination and other requirements to enter Canada. Working collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and follow public health advice is enabling us to begin welcoming more travellers back to Canada. Our government will continue to work with Canadian and international partners to ensure the border reopening is done in a safe and responsible way.