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Canada lifts some COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers


Dear Mr Brown:

I heard that Canada will soon reopen its border for international travellers so that we won’t have to quarantine any more. Please confirm whether this is true.

— AF

Dear AF:

Starting July 5, 2021, Canada will be lifting most international travel restrictions for people in the following groups who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19:

• Canadian citizens;

• Permanent residents;

• Those registered under the Indian Act; and

• Some foreign nationals already allowed to enter Canada, including international students who are fully vaccinated.

These travellers who are currently eligible to enter Canada and are fully immunised will not have to self-isolate for 14 days, take a test on day eight, or stay in a quarantine hotel upon arrival.

Officials said travellers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the Government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic, and have a suitable quarantine plan.

Those arriving by air will also not be forced to stay at a Government-authorised hotel, and non-vaccinated children or dependent adults travelling with them will also be exempt from the hotel stay. Children who aren’t vaccinated will be able to go home with their parents, but must quarantine for two weeks.

Vaccination

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must have received a full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines that have been authorised by Health Canada — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Johnson & Johnson — at least 14 days prior to entering the country.

Travellers will have to present paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation. They will also have to submit proof of their vaccination as well as COVID-19-related information into the federal government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving in Canada.

People are being told to download the “most up-to-date” version of the ArriveCAN app being released on July 5. Entering fraudulent information into the app will result in fines of up to Can$750,000 or six months in prison.

Non-essential visitors

It should be highlighted that the change does not apply to fully vaccinated non-citizens who are looking to visit for non-essential reasons, and for any Canadian traveller who is not fully vaccinated. However, ultimately, Canada Border Services officers will be responsible for reviewing and considering each travellers’ circumstances, which is the reason that the quarantine plan is still necessary.

Restrictions remain

The requirement to be asymptomatic remains, as do the mandatory pre-departure and on-arrival molecular testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers will have to have an adequate quarantine plan in place, in case border agents determine a period of self-isolation is required, and will have to keep copies of their test results for 14 days upon arrival.

Travellers who have yet to receive a vaccine, or who have had just one shot will still have to abide by the existing travel restriction measures, including the three-night stay in a quarantine hotel and a 14-day self-isolation, due to the Delta variant risk.

International commercial flights will continue to be funnelled through the Montral-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programs, including Express Entry, The Study & Work program, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of jamaica2canada.com—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to documents.jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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