Here's what we know so far.👇✈️
If you're waiting for Canada's travel restrictions to end before booking your vacation, you may have to hang on a little longer.
Back in June, the federal government announced yet another extension of COVID-19 measures at Canada's border.
It meant that those travelling during the peak summer season had to continue to follow all travel-related public health measures, like taking COVID-19 tests on arrival in Canada if randomly selected and using ArriveCAN.
However, the current travel restrictions in Canada are set to expire on September 30, 2022.
Canada is one of the few countries worldwide where border measures have recently become stricter rather than more relaxed, with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) maintaining that the current rules "reduce the risk of the importation and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants in Canada related to international travel."
It's not yet clear whether the feds will actually end Canada's travel measures come September, although Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in July that border measures will "remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence."
He added, "We need to keep border testing measures in place because that is how we track importation of the COVID-19 virus, and of new variants of concern."
Travel restrictions — of varying degrees — have been in place at Canada's borders since March 2020. The rules have changed since they were initially implemented over two years ago, although unvaccinated foreign nationals are still not allowed to enter Canada for non-essential reasons, like tourism.
Mandatory random COVID-19 testing was dropped for airport passengers back in June, as part of a broader strategy to reduce the pressure on Canada's major airports.
However, this was brought back on July 19, meaning mandatory random testing remains in place at both land borders and in airports. If selected, travellers are under a legal obligation to take the test within the required timeframe.
The requirement for all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, destination or plans, to use ArriveCAN remains contentious, too. CBC News reports that critics say the app is a barrier for tourism and trade in Canada. It's also accused of contributing to delays at airports and having repeated technical glitches.
It is worth noting, though, that Canada's vaccine mandate for domestic and outbound travel ended as of June 20, which means unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Canadians are able to travel again, with fewer restrictions.
Whether or not Canada's restrictions will be lifted or extended come September 30 remains to be seen, although a further extension could be the deciding factor for those holding off on a vacation.
Measures at the border are just one of the factors putting off travellers this summer, in addition to hectic scenes at airports and long waits at passport offices.
Passport offices in Canada have seen significant backlogs, with lines that are several hours long. Airports have also experienced lengthy delays, with chaotic scenes at security checkpoints and baggage carousels.
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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