Canadian Government Officially Ends All Border Rules, Masks, and ArriveCan
Today, the Canadian government announced that it would officially be bringing to an end all of its remaining border rules, its mask requirements, and the use of the ArriveCan system. In doing so, travelers will be able to enter Canada in the same way they could prior to the pandemic, in what is a huge win for travelers and the beleaguered travel industry in the country that fought for the changes for months. The move brings to end weeks of confusion and rumors and could finally close the Covid-19 chapter in the country.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, Canada boasted some of the strictest Covid-19 related entry requirements in the world – requirements that have lasted until now despite many countries having long since repealed them. Here’s a look at everything travelers need to know about this momentous change, including what exactly is being removed, from what date the changes will come into effect, and what the reason behind the update has been.
Canada Ends Pandemic Travel Restrictions – Information For Travelers
For travelers leaving or entering Canada, the last few weeks have been confusing, to say the least. Whilst the vaccine mandate and use of ArriveCan were scheduled to end at the end of this month, the Public Health Agency of Canada stated that there had been no decision made with respect to the order, crushing the hopes of millions of travelers. Today, however, the government of Canada made a decisive statement – all Covid-19 border and travel measures are on the way out – including testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada.
The good news for travelers is that they won’t have to wait long to reap the benefits. Effective as of October 1st, 2022, all travelers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer be required to:
- Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website
- Provide proof of vaccination
- Undergo pre-arrival or on-arrival testing
- Carry out Covid-19 related quarantine or isolation
- Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of Covid-19 upon arriving in Canada.
Transport Canada is also making changes that will be effective from October 1st. From this date, travelers will no longer be required to undergo health checks for both air travel and rail travel, and they will not be required to wear masks on planes or trains. The government does, however, strongly recommend that travelers “wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys,” but once more, they will not be forced to do so.
As well as air and rail journeys seeing restrictions removed, it’s also good news for cruise passengers. Cruise guests will no longer be required to take Covid-19 tests prior to boarding, nor will they need to be vaccinated in order to sail or have to use the ArriveCAN app or website. Removing these restrictions will make cruise travel stress and pain-free – just as it should be. Along with the rail and air travel changes, travel in, out of, and around Canada is set to be a breeze once more, without the risks it carries at present – and just in time for Christmas.
One of the world’s strictest countries regarding Covid-19, the Canadian government states that the upcoming changes have been made possible due to a series of different factors. These include data modeling that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the variant waves, high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, and the availability and use of vaccine boosters and tests.
Speaking about the changes, Canadian Minister for Transport Omar Alghabra said:
“Canada’s travel measures successfully mitigated the full impact of Covid-19 for travelers and workers in the transportation sector, and helped keep communities safe. Thanks to Canadians who rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated, we are able to take this great step towards easing measures and returning to normal.”
The changes come into effect from October 1st. Travelers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to this date will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine, isolation, or testing requirements. The Canadian government also pointed out that using the Advance CBSA Declaration in ArriveCAN can cut the amount of time a traveler spends at a kiosk by around a third – though it may be a hard sell to passengers in a post-Covid-19 world.