The federal government on Monday revealed plans to open up its international borders beginning next month.
Federal officials said fully vaccinated Americans will be able to visit Canada starting August 9. Fully immunized travellers from other countries, on the other hand, will be permitted to enter the country from September 7. Meanwhile the ban on direct flights from India has been extended to August 21.
Foreign visitors would also have to follow provincial and territorial public health measures.
Adults entering the country will need to present proof (in English or French) that they have been fully immunized by vaccines approved for use in Canada. That means two doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca products, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days before arriving.
All travellers must use the government’s ArriveCAN portal to submit their information. If they meet the government’s criteria, they will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
Travellers will still need to get a COVID-19 molecular test result before they arrive in Canada.
Children under 12, who aren’t yet approved to receive a vaccine, will be exempt from the quarantine requirement after entering Canada and can move around with their parents if they follow federal and provincial public health measures. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said checks to ensure that these families are complying will continue.
Parents are also advised not to bring their children to congregate settings such as school, camps and daycares.
Also on the cards is a new surveillance program at airports and land border crossings starting August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a COVID-19 molecular test.
A number of other changes will also be rolled out on August 9, one being the scrapping of the three-night government-authorized hotel stay requirement for all travellers.
Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been able to skip the 14-day quarantine requirement since earlier this month.
International flights will also be allowed to land at several Canadian airports. They are currently only allowed to land in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Starting August 9, international flights can land at Halifax Stanfield International Airport; Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport; Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport; Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and Edmonton International Airport.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the U.S. has not announced a reciprocal agreement for Canadian travellers yet.