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Canada drops COVID-19 border rules and travel mask mandate


The federal government has announced that it is dropping all COVID-19 related border restrictions for anyone entering Canada, including: proof of COVID-19 vaccination, quarantine and isolation requirements, and all COVID-19 screening tests before or upon arrival.

Canada is also making the ArriveCan app optional and lifting the mask mandate and health screening requirements for travelers on planes and trains.

The declaration of the imminent end of these restrictions, effective October 1, marks an important step in Canada’s response to the pandemic.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and other relevant ministers and public health officials speak about the removal of pandemic precautions Monday morning at Ottawa.

Deciding to allow the expiry of special orders that for months confirmed Canada’s pandemic special authorizations under the Quarantine Act means: o Foreign nationals will not need to be vaccinated to enter the country ;

  • Travelers entering major airports will not be subject to mandatory random COVID-19 testing;
  • Unvaccinated Canadians will no longer have to self-isolate upon return;
  • Travelers will not have to monitor or report if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival;
  • Submitting public health information through the ArriveCan app prior to landing will become optional; and
  • It will no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask when traveling by plane or train.

Measures for cruise ships are also being lifted, although guidance to protect passengers and crew will remain “aligned with the approach used in the United States”.

The government says the removal of these border measures is the result of modeling indicating that Canada is ‘well past’ the peak of the wave of Omicron infections; high vaccination rates and lower hospitalization and death rates in Canada; as well as the availability of reminders, rapid tests and COVID-19 treatments.

Officials said that although Canada is lifting the mask mandate, travelers are still “strongly recommended” to wear high-quality, well-fitting masks and to make “informed decisions” when traveling.

The government reminds travelers that they should not do so if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, and that they will still need to follow provincial or territorial requirements.

The government says COVID-19 will remain one of the communicable diseases listed in the Quarantine Act, and travelers who are ill upon arrival in Canada are asked to notify a staff member or border services officer, as they “may then be referred to a quarantine officer who will decide if the traveler requires further medical evaluation.”

Foreign nationals will still need to meet entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and will need to provide the appropriate travel and immigration documents in order to enter Canada.

This is breaking news. More soon…

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