If you are planning to travel to Canada, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 situation in Canada continues to improve and it is now reporting less than 1,000 cases per day on average.
The Canadian government has announced that it is relaxing its mandatory two-week quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated nationals and residents arriving in the country after traveling abroad. This will take effect just before midnight on July 5.
Persons over five years of age flying in Canada are required to provide written or electronic documentation showing that they have received a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR or RT-LAMP test performed within 72 hours of their scheduled embarkation.
Most inbound air travelers are required to take an additional Covid-19 test when they land and quarantine themselves at a government-supervised hotel for up to three days at their expense pending results.
If the test comes back negative, they can spend the remainder of their 14-day quarantine period at home.
When the new rules come into effect on July 5, Canadians and permanent residents who have received a full course of a government-accepted coronavirus vaccine can leave isolation earlier if they test negative for Covid at the same time. entry and no longer need to stay in a government-supervised hotel.
The policy changes do not apply to fully immunized foreign nationals, including US citizens.
The border between the United States and Canada remains closed to foreign nationals and non-essential travel until at least July 21.
Meanwhile, Canada has extended its ban on passenger flights from India for an additional 30 days, until July 21, 2021, although it has lifted its ban on flights from Pakistan. Travelers departing from India but arriving in Canada via an indirect route will need to obtain a COVID-19 test prior to negative departure from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
For travelers arriving by land, all visitors – with a few exceptions – are required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test result performed in the United States within 72 hours of arrival. , or a positive test carried out 14 to 90 days before arrival.
The Canadian government has announced that no cruise ship will be permitted to navigate in Canadian waters until at least March 1, 2022.
What’s on offer
It is the ultimate destination for adventure. From skiing and snowboarding in the Rockies to bear watching in Ontario’s wilderness, Canada has it all for travelers who want time in the great outdoors.
Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec are all perfect for city breaks, with a first-rate cultural, gastronomic and entertainment offering.
Who can go
Citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada, but they must self-quarantine for 14 days. Vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will no longer need to self-quarantine as of July 5.
Immediate and extended family members, including those who are not Canadian citizens, can enter for any reason as long as they stay in the country for more than 15 days (the quarantine rule remains unchanged at this time. ). Those who come for less than 15 days can only enter for an essential reason.
All extended family members (but not immediate family) must also have written permission from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For more information, click here. Only essential travel and transit passengers are otherwise permitted.
What are the restrictions?
Earlier this year, Canada implemented further quarantine tests and requirements for international travelers arriving in Canada by air and land. Only four major airports accept international flights: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
All authorized arrivals must use the ArriveCAN app or website to submit travel and contact information, a 14-day quarantine plan, and a Covid-19 symptom self-assessment.
The quarantine plan should specify where you will be staying, how you will get there, and how you will arrange for the delivery of essentials such as groceries and medicines. Failure to follow the plan can result in a prison sentence of six months and a fine of CA $ 750,000 (US $ 593,000).
In addition, all arrivals undergo a health examination by a border officer to assess symptoms.
Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC, reports that the government is considering a phased approach to reopen the border with the United States that would begin by allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enter starting this summer.
You can follow detailed travel rules between provinces here.
What is the situation with Covid-19?
Canada is now in the middle of a national Covid-19 vaccination program. According to Canada’s official vaccine tracker, more than 66% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 19% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Canada handled the first wave of Covid-19 well. However, a second deadly wave in late 2020 led to further lockdowns.
Currently, the country is recovering from a third wave of the virus and several provinces are relaxing their restrictions in response.
What can visitors expect?
Mask mandates vary from province to province.
Several provinces are relaxing rules on social gatherings, indoor dining and online travel with reduced cases and increased vaccination rates, including Alberta and British Columbia.
Quebec eased restrictions from May 28, removing the curfew and allowing restaurants to serve customers on their terraces.
Ontario has unveiled a three-step reopening plan, with restaurants now allowed to serve customers outside.
Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, has adopted some of the toughest Covid-19 prevention measures in the country, with non-residents having to apply for permission to visit in advance.
Most Canadian provinces continue to advise people to keep a distance of two meters (6.5 feet) to reduce the spread of the virus.
At present, interprovincial travel is discouraged.
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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Paula Newton and Karla Cripps contributed to this report