The U.S. border with Canada has been closed to nonessential travel since March 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but Canada recently announced that it will begin easing travel restrictions in early July.
In mid-June, Canada announced the first phase of its plan to ease border restrictions for travelers entering Canada. Pursuant to the new policy, effective July 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, travelers who are “fully vaccinated” will be exempt from quarantine restrictions, mandatory hotel stays pending test results (for air travelers), and day-eight testing, provided all conditions as set forth below are satisfied.
A fully vaccinated traveler must provide documentation verifying that he or she has received, “at least 14 days prior to entering Canada,” the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines that are accepted by the government of Canada.
Acceptable vaccines include:
- Pfizer (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
- Moderna (mRNA-1273)
- AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, AZD1222, Covishield)
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – single dose
It is important to keep in mind that being “fully vaccinated” will not, in and of itself, guarantee access into Canada. According to Canada’s guidelines, a representative of the Canadian government will make the final decision “at the border based on the information presented at the time of entry.” And irrespective of one’s vaccination status, a traveler must still satisfy certain entry requirements, including:
- Pre-arrival and on-arrival COVID-19 testing for all travelers, whether arriving by land or air.
- The establishment of “a suitable quarantine plan” that addresses where a traveler can stay in Canada for at least 14 days, if necessary.
- Travelers must electronically submit documentation of their vaccination status or COVID-19 test results through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada.
Unvaccinated minors or dependent adults who are travelling with fully vaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days and follow all testing requirements, but are not required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.
At this time, there are no exemptions from testing, hotel stop-over or quarantine for travelers who haven’t received the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada.
If you have any questions on these issues, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.
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