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Update: Adjustments to Canada’s border and travel measures

On 19 November 2021, the Government of Canada announced upcoming adjustments to Canada’s border measures. Read this article to update the newest rules to enter Canada.

canada's border update nov 2021

Eliminating COVID-19 testing for air and land crossings of less than 72 hours

Effective November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will not have to present a pre-entry molecular test. This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter by land or by air and can demonstrate they have been away from Canada for less than 72 hours.

 

The exemption will also apply to:

 

  • people with medical contraindications as defined in the Orders in Council (OIC); and
  • unvaccinated children under 12 who are accompanying their parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor. The accompanying adult must be fully vaccinated (or have a contraindication) and have right of entry into Canada.

For fully vaccinated travellers with right of entry into Canada who are travelling by air, the 72-hour period runs from the initially scheduled departure time for their flight leaving Canada to the scheduled departure time for their return flight to Canada. Travelers will be responsible for maintaining proof of the 72-hour period to show airline/rail companies and border officials as required (e.g., boarding pass, travel itinerary).

Updated list of accepted vaccines to travel to Canada

Also effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.

 

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, you must:

  • have received at least 2 doses of a Government of Canada-accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
    • or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • have received your second dose at least 14 full days prior to the day you enter Canada
    • Example: if your second dose was anytime on Thursday July 1, then Friday July 16 would be the first day that you meet the 14 day condition
  • upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
  • have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • meet pre-entry testing and all other requirements
    • upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
    • have ArriveCAN receipt with letter V or I beside your name
  • meet all other entry requirements (for example, pre-entry test result)
accepted COVID-19 vaccines for entering canada

Accepted vaccines to enter Canada

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, COVISHIELD, ChAdOx1-S, AZD1222)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C) Starting November 30
  • Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells) Starting November 30
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc) Starting November 30

Vaccines not currently accepted to enter Canada

  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Cansino (Convidecia, Ad5-nCoV)
  • Gamaleya (Sputnik V, Gam-Covid-Vac)
  • Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV, Sinopharm-Wuhan)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)
  • Vector Institute (EpiVacCorona)
  • Other

The list of accepted vaccines may expand in the future.

Entry Requirements: Adjustments for certain travellers entering Canada

As of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:

 

  • Individuals travelling to reunite with family (unless they are under 18 years of age if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is either fully vaccinated or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act.)
  • International students (18 years of age and over)
  • Fully vaccinated students will be allowed to attend any provincially or territorially designated learning institution in Canada.
  • Unvaccinated students under the age of 18 must attend a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the school is located.
  • Professional athletes and their support staff, and amateur athletes.
  • Individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers, outside of agricultural and food processing.
  • Most essential service providers (including truck drivers, emergency service providers and marine researchers).

 

 After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet the criteria for limited exceptions, which apply to certain groups such as agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, those entering on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees and some children under the age of 18. Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.

 

Starting November 30, vaccination will be required for travel within and out of Canada. A valid COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless travellers are eligible for one of the limited exemptions, such as a medical inability to be vaccinated. Travellers should contact their airline or railway company to obtain the necessary form and submit it in accordance with their carrier’s approval process as of November 30.

 

The Government of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians. As vaccination levels, case counts and hospitalization rates evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to consider further targeted measures at the borders—and when to lift or adjust them—to keep Canadians safe.

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