Canada drops all Covid border restrictions for travellers

The measures will go into effect on Saturday 1 October

Johanna Chisholm
Tuesday 27 September 2022 08:42 BST
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COVID-19 border restrictions lifting for all travellers on Oct. 1

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The Canadian government announced that it will be dropping all Covid-19 travel restrictions, meaning that international travellers entering the country by plane or train will no longer be required to present proof of vaccination or wear masks.

The newly lifted measures will go into effect on Saturday 1 October, regardless of citizenship status.

Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday’s decision was not indicative of the government considering the pandemic over, but because recent data supported the move to drop the measures for international travellers that have been in place for more than two years as cases are mostly being driven by “domestic transmission”.

“If anybody believes the pandemic is over, I invite them to visit a hospital,” said Mr Duclos on Monday.

“That decision again was driven by the evidence that we have seen over the last few weeks and months, which is that the transmission and cost of transmission of Covid-19 on our healthcare workers, hospitals and including those patients who have seen backlogs in their surgeries and treatments over the last two years and a half ... are now almost entirely driven by domestic transmission of Covid-19. That’s where we need to invest our energy.”

The restrictions on international travellers that had been in place, which included providing proof of vaccination, registering public health information through the country’s ArriveCAN app, undergoing pre-departure testing, isolating or quarantining on arrival and wearing masks on planes and trains, will be dropped on Saturday regardless of citizenship status.

The Trudeau government said that based on the current vaccination rate and Covid-19 rates across the country, the current measures that were set to expire on 30 September were no longer needed, citing “modelling that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 fuelled wave.”

In Canada, approximately 82 per cent of the population is considered to be fully vaccinated with at least two shots, compared to the US where about 68 per cent of the population has received two jabs.

Canadians wanting to enter the US will still be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their shots when crossing the southern border. The White House has not indicated whether the US government will be following the lead of their northern neighbours.

Despite the requirements dropping, the Canadian government is still “strongly recommending” that travellers continue to wear well-fitted masks when boarding onto planes, trains and public transportation.

The government has also lifted the vaccine mandates that were made for federal employees, which included individuals who were working in public service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and transport workers, including truckers.

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