NW Week

New Canadian border and travel restrictions go into effect tomorrow

New Canadian border and travel restrictions

Key Takeaways:

  • To board any of Canada’s federally regulated modes of transportation, passengers must prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Beginning tomorrow, November 30, full COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all travelers aged 12 and up in Canada.

The new rules apply to the federally regulated transportation sector. This includes VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, Canadian airports, and passenger vessels on voyages of 24 hours or more, such as cruise ships. Road transportation, such as buses, is exempt from this policy.

This measure was announced by Canada last month and went into effect on October 30. A grace period was granted at the time, allowing travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test instead of proof of vaccination, but this has now expired.

Only a small number of travelers now qualify for one of the few exemptions, such as those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. 

A temporary volume has also been implemented to allow foreign nationals to leave Canada by air without being vaccinated until February 28. Before boarding a plane, passengers who wish to use this exemption must present a negative molecular test for COVID-19. Only visitors who arrived in Canada before October 30 are eligible for this particular policy.

Also, as of November 30, fully vaccinated travelers authorized to enter Canada who is leaving the country and returning within 72 hours of departure are no longer required to provide a COVID-19 molecular test result to produce. 

This exception only applies to fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons registered under the Indian Act who leave and return to Canada by air or land. These individuals will need to be able to provide proof of vaccination. This new provision also applies to children under the age of 12 and people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Any traveler who stays abroad for more than 72 hours will still be required to take the mandatory COVID-19 molecular test before entering Canada. This is because antigen tests, also known as “rapid tests,” are not recognized in Canada for this purpose.

On November 30, Canada will add three new vaccines to the list that travelers can receive to be considered fully immunized against COVID-19. The following vaccines will be approved in Canada beginning tomorrow:

  • Sinopharm;
  • Sinovac;
  • COVAXIN;
  • Pfizer-BioNTech;
  • Moderna;
  • AstraZeneca; and
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

Source: CIC News

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