The Canadian government has removed its advisory against non-essential travel for Canadians that has been in place since March 2020 (though it was temporarily lifted for a brief time in October), when the Covid-19 pandemic was first declared. The Government of Canada has adjusted its Travel Health Notice from a Level 3 to a Level 2. This means that the Government will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes but rather that travelers “practise special precautions.”
The news release goes on to state that the Public Health Agency of Canada is still advising travelers to practise enhanced health precautions when traveling outside of the country. The release notes that “Covid-19 continues to circulate in Canada and internationally. The Covid-19 situation at your destination can change rapidly and can vary considerably from one destination to another, and even between regions within a country. The virus that causes Covid-19 continues to change over time and new variants will appear. Remain vigilant and take measures to protect yourself and limit the spread to others.”
The government continues to recommend that all eligible travelers should complete a vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada, at least 14 days before traveling.
The release goes on to remind travelers that Canadian citizens (including dual citizens), people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents of Canada, or protected persons (refugee status) are allowed to enter Canada. Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel. Foreign nationals who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated will only be allowed to enter in specific circumstances.
As of Feb 28, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to take a molecular test to enter the country. Travelers will now have the option of using a Covid-19 rapid antigen test result (taken the day prior to their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) or a molecular test result (taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry) to meet pre-entry requirements. Travelers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, will continue to be randomly selected for arrival testing. Travelers selected will also no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.
Note that taking a rapid antigen test at home is not sufficient to meet the pre-entry requirement. The test must be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and must be administered by a laboratory, healthcare entity or telehealth service.
Children under 12 years old, traveling with fully vaccinated adults, will continue to be exempt from quarantine, without any prescribed conditions limiting their activities. This means, for example, they will not be required to wait 14 days before going to school, camp or daycare.
Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be required to test on arrival, on Day 8 and quarantine for 14 days. Unvaccinated foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of the few exemptions.