Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to enter Canada without undergoing quarantine starting the night of July 5, the federal government announced today.
The news comes as many Canadian provinces have met key immunization goals, with more than 75 percent of eligible Canadians having received at least one dose and more than 20 percent having received two.
However, Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will not simply be able to go through customs.
Officials said at a government briefing for reporters, those entering will be required to show documents proving they received doses of vaccines approved in Canada at least 14 days before entering the country.
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Officials said travelers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet pre-arrival and arrival testing requirements, be asymptomatic and have an appropriate quarantine plan .
“The final decision on exemptions is made by a government official at the border based on information presented upon entry into Canada, which is why a quarantine plan is still required,” a statement said from government press.
If approved, accepted travelers will not need to be quarantined. Those arriving by air will also not be required to stay in a government approved hotel and unvaccinated children or dependent adults traveling with them will also be exempt from hotel stay.
Children who are not vaccinated will be able to return home with their parents, but must self-quarantine for two weeks, an official speaking in the background said.
The new rules – which take effect on July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET – cover Canadian citizens, permanent residents, those registered under the Indian Act and certain foreign nationals already authorized to enter Canada, including international students.
WATCH | Fully vaccinated Canadians do not need to self-quarantine as of July 5
There are no changes to border restrictions for travelers who are not fully vaccinated. Those who land by air will still need to remain in hotel quarantine for up to three days while awaiting a negative arrival test, self-quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14-day period, and take a test on day eight. of their period of self-isolation.
Canadians are always advised to avoid non-essential travel
The relaxation also does not apply to foreign nationals. Ottawa announced Friday that it would maintain existing restrictions on the Canada-U.S. Border for at least a month, until July 21.
“At this time, the Government of Canada continues to strongly advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
“While the future looks brighter than it has been for a long time, with COVID-19 cases on a downward trend and vaccination efforts proceeding well across the country, we cannot let our guard down. “
Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canada-America Business Council, said she was frustrated with the federal government’s rationale for not allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter the country.
“What’s the difference between fully vaccinated Canadians and fully vaccinated Americans? Unless you work for the NHL, in which case I guess there is a special exemption,” she said.
“It’s frustrating, not only for Americans but for the Canadian companies we work with on a daily basis. We have to come back to a place where we can do business safely and Canada is, for reasons that are really confusing to us, quite reluctant. “
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said she is still consulting with provinces about the next phase of easing travel restrictions.
“As we have told Canadians from the start, a relaxation of border measures will occur as we see our communities become increasingly secure,” she said.
“We will be coming back to Canadians in the near future on the types of measures that will give us the confidence to scale back even further.” “
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Ban on flights from India extended
Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, said the government should have a clear plan for opening up international travel.
“A transparent plan with clear benchmarks for reopening travel would be a powerful tool in encouraging Canadians to get fully immunized. The Council is disappointed that the government has not seen fit to tell Canadians what to expect as the vaccination campaign continues, he said in a statement.
“I am also disappointed that the light at the end of the tunnel is still far away for the struggling travel, tourism and hospitality sectors in Canada.”
At Monday’s press conference, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra also announced that the government is ending the ban on inbound flights from Pakistan, but extending the ban on flights from India to minus an additional month given the high number of cases.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino also announced that people whose permanent residence has been approved can travel to Canada as of June 21. Previously, foreign nationals who held a valid confirmation of permanent residence issued on or before March 18, 2020 were exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions.
WATCH | Update on how people with permanent residence can travel to Canada
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