Vaccinated travellers to Canada no longer need to be tested for COVID-19

By Hana Mae Nassar, Michael Ranger, and The Canadian Press

Fully vaccinated travellers can now enter Canada without a COVID-19 test.

The change, which takes effect April 1, is expected to spark a surge in travel bookings both into and out of the country, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. However, it notes travel is not likely to reach pre-pandemic levels yet.

While pre-entry testing requirements for people who’ve received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine have been dropped, travellers could still be randomly tested when they arrive.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are also still required to continue using the ArriveCAN app and are being reminded that Health Canada still requires anyone coming into this country from abroad to wear a mask in public for 14 days.

Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be tested upon arrival and again eight days later, and will be required to quarantine for two weeks.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated Canadians and other travellers who are exempt from the vaccine requirement will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test or evidence that enough time has passed after an infection to enter the country.

While the travel and tourism industries are optimistic about the change, there is a possibility the government could reinstate border restrictions in response to rising cases of a more contagious subvariant of Omicron.

“We’ve seen the collapse of our international tourism and convention business over the course of the last two years, and were on the cusp of losing the summer tourist season as well,” said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable.

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“I think it’s fair to say we are now entering into a transition phase of this pandemic,” federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in mid-March when the testing changes were announced.

“As the weather warms and people spend more time outside we can expect to see transmission decline in the coming months. We are now ready to announce further changes to border measures.”

Unvaccinated children coming to Canada who are travelling with vaccinated adults no longer have to isolate from school or daycare for 14 days.

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