As summer approaches, countries continue to lower the barrier of entry for travelers. Last Friday, the Canadian government announced changes to its Covid-19 policy taking effect today.
The two most important changes apply to vaccinated adults and unvaccinated children. Fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to make a quarantine plan in the event they test positive while in Canada. Also, children under 11 can skip the pre-arrival Covid test as long as they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.
Here’s what traveling to Canada looks like today:
Everyone who enters Canada must still download the ArriveCAN app and complete the questionnaire within 72 hours of arrival. Vaccinated travelers must upload proof of vaccination to the app in advance of arrival.
Travelers should know that mask-wearing remains commonplace in many indoor places in Canada. The country’s federal mask mandate is still in place on planes, trains, subways and other public transportation. “This kind of requirement requires ongoing evaluation,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at a news conference last week. “I think it’s one of the least intrusive measures but adds definitely another layer of protection.”
As in the U.S., each Canadian province and city has its own rules about mask wearing, and many provinces still have mandates in place. In Quebec, for example, the mask mandate for public transportation and indoor settings has been extended until mid-May, while Ontario has extended its mandate until mid-June.
Fully Vaccinated Adults Entering Canada
Travelers are considered fully vaccinated when they have received at least two doses of an accepted Covid-19 vaccine.
Fully vaccinated travelers may be selected at random to take a Covid-19 molecular test upon arrival but are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result. This randomized testing is limited to four major international airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
To avoid being selected for mandatory random testing, travelers who have recovered from Covid-19 can provide proof of a positive molecular test result taken no more than 180 days (about six months) prior to entering Canada.
As of today, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to provide a quarantine plan to isolate if they test positive. Since April 1, vaccinated travelers have not had to provide pre-arrival testing results, but the ArriveCan app was still asking for a detailed 14-day quarantine plan in case travelers tested positive on the random arrival test. This step is no longer in the app.
Also gone from the app is the requirement that travelers must monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of Covid-19.
Unvaccinated And Partially Vaccinated Travelers
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. All unvaccinated travelers aged 12 and older are required to provide proof of a negative pre-arrival test.
At the border, anyone entering Canada who isn’t fully vaccinated will continue to be tested with a Covid-19 molecular test upon arrival, and on day eight of their quarantine.
Children Under 12 Entering Canada
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated kids ages 5 to 11 are no longer required to provide a pre-entry Covid-19 test result, as long as they’re accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. Children under five are also not required to provide a negative Covid-19 test upon entry.