Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Canada has scrapped Covid travel restrictions

Canada previously had some of the strictest Covid travel restrictions in the western world

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Saturday 01 October 2022 07:58 BST
Arrivals at a Canadian airport
Arrivals at a Canadian airport (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Canada is now allowing unvaccinated arrivals. The change took effect at the start of October, following the country’s controversial reintroduction of testing on arrival in August.

Travellers who were in Canadian hotel quarantine after testing positive were able to walk out at one minute past midnight on Saturday, 1 October.

The world’s second-largest country (after Russia) ditched almost all Covid travel restrictions and red tape from the same date.

The Public Health Authority of Canada says: “All travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to submit public health information; provide proof of vaccination; undergo pre- or on-arrival testing; carry out Covid-19-related quarantine or isolation; [or] monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.”

Mandatory mask-wearing on trains and planes has also ended, though the authorities say: “All travellers are strongly recommended to wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.”

Cruise passengers are no longer legally required to test before boarding, though cruise lines may themselves insist on testing.

Canada previously had some of the strictest Covid travel restrictions in the western world, with the International Air Transport Association describing the nation as “a total outlier in managing Covid-19 and travel”.

Overseas visitors had to show proof of having completed a course of vaccination, with certificates uploaded to the nation’s ArriveCan app. In addition, international arrivals at larger Canadian airports were subject to random Covid testing and, if positive, mandatory hotel quarantine.

The government in Ottawa insists it has followed a “prudent, risk-based and measured approach” to international travel throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, said: “Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border.”

The ArriveCan app is longer mandatory for international arrivals, but it remains optional as a possible time-saver for travellers entering Canada.

Covid-19 remains a notifiable disease in Canada. Anyone with symptoms “should not travel”. If a traveller becomes sick during the journey, “they should inform a flight attendant, cruise staff, or a border services officer upon arrival”.

The health authority says: “They may then be referred to a quarantine officer who will decide whether the traveller needs further medical assessment.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in