New Canadian travel and border controls go into force today

By Joseph Parker [Published 30 Nov, 2021 | 04:55 AM] 1640
New Canadian travel and border controls go into force today

To board any of Canada's federally regulated forms of transportation, passengers must prove that they have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19. Beginning today, November 30, full immunization against COVID-19 will be mandatory for all tourists aged 12 and up in Canada. The new regulations apply to the federally controlled transportation industry. This covers all via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, Canadian airports, and passenger boats on 24-hour or longer journeys, such as travel from the cruise. This restriction does not apply to road vehicles, such as buses.

This action was announced by Canada last month and went into effect on October 30. A grace period was granted at the time, allowing travellers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test instead of proof of vaccination; however, this has already expired. Only a small proportion of travellers currently qualify for one of the few exemptions, such as those who are unable to get vaccinated due to medical reasons.

A temporary measure has also been put in place to allow foreign nationals to leave Canada by air without being vaccinated until February 28. Before boarding a plane, those who seek to exercise this exemption must produce a negative molecular test for COVID-19. Only visitors who arrived in Canada before October 30 are eligible for this unique program.

Additionally, beginning November 30, fully vaccinated travellers permitted to enter Canada who will be departing the country and returning within 72 hours after departure will no longer be needed to present a COVID-19 molecular test result to return.

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This exemption only applies to fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or anyone registered under the Indian Act who leaves and returns to Canada by air or land. These persons will need to be able to present confirmation of immunization. This new policy also applies to children under the age of 12 and anyone unable to get vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Any traveller who stays overseas for longer than 72 hours will still be required to take the necessary COVID-19 molecular test before entering Canada. Antigen testing, sometimes known as rapid tests, are not recognized in Canada for this reason.

Since February of this year, all incoming overseas visitors above the age of five have been required to undergo a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. Today, Canada will add three more vaccinations to the list of those, that travellers can take to be deemed fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, there are only some of the vaccinations which will be licensed in Canada beginning today i.e., Sinopharm, Sinovac, COVAXIN, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.

To be considered wholly vaccinated for travel to Canada, one must have gotten the full recommended dosage of an authorized vaccination at least 14 days before departure. In addition, individuals who do not have evidence of immunization in English or French must provide a certified translation of their document. Travellers must also submit all needed information, including proof of vaccination and a quarantine plan, using a free online application called Arrive CAN before arriving in Canada.


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