Beginning on July 5, Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be subject to the federal government’s 14-day quarantine upon entering Canada, or have to stay in a government-approved hotel.
Fully vaccinated travellers will still have to take a COVID test and receive a negative result 72 hours before arriving in Canada and have a quarantine plan in Canada in order to skip the mandatory quarantine, according to changes to Canada’s travel restrictions that the federal government announced on Monday.
Only those who have received a “full series” or combination of vaccines approved by Health Canada — which include Pfizer’s, Moderna’s, AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s — will be eligible to skip the quarantine. Each of the vaccines approved by Health Canada are required to be given in two doses, with the exception of Johnson & Johnson’s, which someone is considered fully vaccinated with after receiving just one dose. Two weeks must have also passed since someone receives their final dose for them to be considered fully vaccinated.
Proof of vaccination, as well as a pre-departure negative COVID test result, will have to be electronically uploaded to the government’s ArriveCAN app before travellers arrive in Canada. The app will be updated on July 5 to allow for vaccine documents to be uploaded to it.
Qualifying fully vaccinated travellers will also no longer have to take a COVID test eight days after arriving in the country.
Fully vaccinated travellers will also still have to take a COVID test upon arrival, and will be required to quarantine for 14 days if that test result is positive.
In cases in which children who are not fully vaccinated arrive in Canada with their fully vaccinated parents, the children will still have to quarantine for 14 days, government officials who spoke to reporters about the new measures said. Children won’t have to stay in a government-approved hotel and will be allowed to quarantine at home.
Vaccinated travellers who are eligible to skip quarantine will still have to follow provincial restrictions or quarantine requirements that may also exist.
The government’s travel restrictions will still apply to those who aren’t fully vaccinated.
Most people who aren’t Canadian or permanent residents will still not be able to enter Canada. Unvaccinated Canadians and residents, or those who have only received one dose, or who haven’t had 14 days since their final dose, must still quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Those who don’t meet the new requirements and arrive in an airport will still have to quarantine in a hotel for up to three days at a cost of up to $3,000, until the receive a negative COVID test, and then finish their remaining 14-day quarantine elsewhere.
The relaxing of measures was announced as “Phase 1” of the government’s plan to ease its travel restrictions. However, officials who spoke to media on Monday would not say what additional measures would be relaxed in future phases or by what date they will be put in place.
More from iPolitics