We Answered All Your Biggest Questions About Canada's New Travel Restrictions

Find out who's exempt, what it means for international students and more!

We Answered All Your Biggest Questions About Canada's New Travel Restrictions
Staff Writer

It's been a big day for Canadians and travellers as Canada's new travel restrictions and exemptions have just kicked into gear on July 5.

As is the case with most big changes, there are a ton of questions floating around following the adjustment to the travel measures. We asked our readers for their biggest questions surrounding the update and you can find the answers below

If you're wondering about testing and quarantine hotels or what the updated restrictions mean for students, keep reading to learn more.

Do fully vaccinated international students need to quarantine?

If you're a student and you've been fully vaccinated with Canada's approved vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) — then you do not have to quarantine or take a day eight test.

However, if you have not been fully vaccinated with the approved vaccines, you will need to continue abiding by Canada's travel restrictions. That includes a two-week quarantine period with a stay at a government-mandated quarantine hotel and a day eight COVID-19 test.*

You do need to follow other rules to enter Canada as a student. You need to have a valid study permit or letter of introduction and be attending a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan. More information on rules for students is available on the government website.

Do fully vaccinated international travellers need to quarantine?

If you are fully vaccinated and are travelling to Canada for an essential reason, you will no longer need to quarantine.

You will need to take a COVID-19 test and provide a quarantine plan — in case you don't meet the requirements or are symptomatic — and you'll also need to keep a list of close contacts and proof of vaccination for the first two weeks of being in Canada. You'll also have to follow local health guidelines, of course.

If you are a foreign national and are travelling to Canada for a non-essential reason — even if you are fully vaccinated — you won't be allowed in.

How do I prove I've been fully vaccinated if I'm coming from another country?

In order to prove you've been fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by Health Canada, you'll need to download and fill out your information on the ArriveCAN app.

You'll need to add where and when you got your first and second doses as well as mention which vaccine(s) you received. You'll also need to upload a photo or PDF of your vaccination record — the document you received at your vaccination appointment.

The proof must be in English or French or be a certified translation into one of those two languages.

Can Americans now visit Canada?

The Canada-U.S. land border is still closed and will be until at least July 21. Flights to Canada from the States are running, but Americans can't come north for non-essential reasons, like hiking, tourism or checking on a cottage.

Do you need to have a COVID-19 test before entering Canada?

While the travel rules for fully vaccinated travellers have changed, the testing requirements are still essentially the same for anybody entering Canada.

Anybody entering Canada — fully vaccinated or not — must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving into the country.

All travellers arriving in Canada by air will also be required to take a COVID test once they arrive in the country. If you're not fully vaccinated, you may get a kit to test yourself on day eight of your isolation spell. If you have been fully vaccinated, you won't need to do that.

Can I travel to the U.S. from Canada for a non-essential reason?

Canadians are not allowed to enter the United States via the land border. Canadians can fly into the States (with a passport or valid NEXUS card), but Canada advises that all non-essential travel be avoided until further notice.

If the trip is essential, travellers must check risk levels where they're heading and follow local public health guidelines.

If you are a fully vaccinated Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you do go to the States for an essential reason, you won't need to quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days when you come back into the country. You'll have to get a negative COVID test before you arrive, however.

Canadians who are not fully vaccinated will still have to quarantine for 14 days upon their return from the U.S.

*This article has been updated.

Cormac O'Brien
Staff Writer