Starting on November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians taking short trips abroad will no longer need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return home.
The federal government said on Friday the test exemption will only apply to fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who depart and re-enter Canada within 72 hours.
The exemption rule will also apply to children with a right of entry if they are under the age of 12 and accompanied by their fully vaccinated parents or have certain medical conditions preventing them from being vaccinated.
Additionally, Ottawa will be expanding its list of accepted vaccines for travellers. Currently, only Health Canada approved vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are recognized. But from November 30, Canada will also recognize those who are fully vaccinated with World Health Organization approved vaccines Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN.
The federal government is also tweaking vaccine exemption guidelines in the new year. Starting on January 15, certain groups of travellers who are currently exempt from certain entry requirements will only be allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated. Those groups include individuals reuniting with family, international students, professional athletes, temporary foreign workers and essential service workers including truck drivers.