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Canada’s Travel Restrictions Have Been Updated Again & Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Some testing requirements will be dropped, exemptions are changing and more.👇✈️

Canada’s Travel Restrictions Have Been Updated Again & Here’s Everything You Need To Know

The federal government has announced updates to Canada's travel restrictions, although the new rules won't impact everyone.

On November 19, officials confirmed that testing requirements will be dropped for eligible travellers taking short trips across the border.

They also revealed that as of January 2022, certain groups of travellers who are currently exempt from entry requirements will only be permitted to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated.

That's not all, either. The list of COVID-19 vaccines approved for entry into Canada has also been updated to include three more vaccines, in line with the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.

Here's everything you need to know.

Pre-entry molecular testing

As of November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated people with right of entry to Canada will no longer be required to show a pre-entry molecular test if they take a trip outside of the country lasting 72 hours or less.

This means eligible travellers who leave and then re-enter Canada within three days won't have to take a PCR test to come back.

This applies to those returning to Canada via land or air, provided they can prove they have been away from the country for 72 hours or less.

Accompanying children under the age of 12 will also qualify, as will those with medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination.

It's worth noting, however, that the rules have not changed for those leaving Canada for longer than 72 hours. In cases where a trip lasts longer than this, travellers (regardless of vaccination status) must provide a pre-entry molecular test taken in the 72 hours before arriving. Antigen tests are not accepted.

Travel restrictions for partially and unvaccinated travellers have not changed.

What does this mean for travellers?

It means things have become a little easier (and cheaper) for those crossing the border for quick stops, like holiday shopping or visiting relatives.

It also means fully vaccinated people driving from Canada to the U.S. and back within 72 hours can complete their trip without taking any COVID-19 tests, as the United States does not require testing at its land borders.

However, those flying from Canada into the States will still be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the U.S., along with proof of full vaccination, regardless of their trip length.

Eligible COVID-19 vaccines

Canada is also expanding its list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines travellers can have received in order to be considered "fully vaccinated."

Effective November 30, 2021, the list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, which the feds say matches with the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.

Also accepted are those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Changes to exemptions

On the same day, the feds also announced that as of January 15, 2022, some travellers who were previously exempt from entry requirements must get vaccinated in order to enter Canada.

This includes international students aged 18 and over, professional and amateur athletes, individuals with valid work permits and essential service providers, including truck drivers.

It will also apply to "individuals travelling to reunite with family," although eligible unvaccinated children travelling for this reason will remain exempt.

From this date, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be unable to enter Canada unless they meet the "criteria for limited exceptions."

Exempt unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals will still be subject to testing, quarantine and other entry requirements.

"Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada," officials have confirmed.

What about Canada's vaccine passport?

As planned, vaccination against COVID-19 will be a requirement for both domestic and international travel in Canada from November 30, 2021.

A valid COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to full vaccination, apart from in cases where an individual has a valid medical exemption.

Travellers hoping to take a trip should look into downloading the federal proof of vaccination for travel, which is now available in most provinces and all of the territories.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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