International travel is set to make a comeback this summer!👇✈️
On Monday, July 19, the federal government announced a series of major updates to Canada's travel restrictions, set to begin in August.
According to officials, the plan to restart international travel is possible due to the country's increased vaccination rates, declining COVID-19 cases and the reduced pressure on health care services.
If you missed the announcement, or are confused by what is and isn't allowed, here's everything you need to know.
International travellers will be back
(1/9) Together, Canada\u2019s vaccination rates and strong public health measures have set the stage for a cautious adjustment to border measures. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2021/07/government-of-canada-announces-easing-of-border-measures-for-fully-vaccinated-travellers.html\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/5IMVLJXBF2— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC) 1626731261
One of the most significant announcements made on Monday was that fully vaccinated travellers from overseas will be able to return to Canada for non-essential reasons, starting this summer.
From 12:01 a.m. on August 9, fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary reasons, including travel, tourism and visiting friends and family.
From September 7, fully vaccinated people from the rest of the world will also be welcomed back to Canada, regardless of their purpose for travel.
Travellers from the U.S. and all other countries must have the full course of a single vaccine type or a combination of vaccines that have been approved by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
Those who are eligible to enter the country may be able to skip quarantine upon arrival, provided they are asymptomatic, meet all of the pre-entry testing requirements and use ArriveCAN services to share their vaccine information and a backup quarantine plan. Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated people must still quarantine for two weeks.
Some travel measures are getting scrapped
Some of Canada's current entry requirements are also getting an update in August, in order to make the travel process "more streamlined" and to ensure passengers spend less time in airports.
From August 9, fully vaccinated travellers will not be required to take a post-arrival COVID-19 test when entering Canada. Instead, airports will use a new "border testing surveillance program" to identify new variants of concern and monitor vaccine effectiveness.
Fully vaccinated people will also be permitted to skip the day-eight COVID-19 test.
There will be no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
As of the same date, pre-board temperature checks will no longer be mandatory for all air passengers on both domestic and international flights.
Canada's hotel quarantine program is also set to end as of 12:01 a.m. on August 9. This will apply to all travellers, regardless of their vaccination status.
Airports are reopening
Effective August 9, international flights will be permitted to land in five additional Canadian airports: Halifax Stanfield; Québec City Jean Lesage; Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier; Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson, and Edmonton International Airport.
The feds say these locations are now "working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate."
Previously, only four airports in Canada had been allowed to accept passenger flights from overseas: Montréal-Trudeau; Toronto Pearson; Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
India flight ban continues
To help manage the continued risk of imported #COVID19 cases and variants of concern into Canada, we have extended the #NOTAM restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from #India until August 21, 2021 at 23:59 EDT http://ow.ly/BvDZ30rOlCV— Transport Canada (@Transport Canada) 1626807685
On July 19, despite announcing a number of eased travel restrictions, officials confirmed that the India flight ban would be extended once again.
The measures have been extended for an additional 30 days and are slated to last until August 21, 2021.
Non-essential travel advisory continues
While the feds have now laid out plans to welcome tourists from overseas back to Canada, it's worth noting that their official advice to Canadians remains to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country.
Officials warn that "international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others."
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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