More COVID-19 restrictions are removed for visitors to Canada

Apr 23, 2022

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Canada will remove some additional COVID-19 restrictions as the new week gets underway. Starting Monday, April 25, the Canadian government is relaxing testing requirements for unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 11, and removing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers to provide a quarantine plan upon entry. Canada is also easing some of its health protocols for visitors once they’re in the country.

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Monday’s changes represent just the latest removal of restrictions for travelers arriving in Canada, as part of what the government called a “risk-based and measured approach” when it made the announcement on Friday.

The changes follow a much more significant lifting of restrictions at the start of April. That’s when the Canadian government first allowed fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country without getting tested. The test requirements remain in place for unvaccinated travelers.

View of Montreal, Canada, from Mount Royal. (Photo by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)

Under the new changes, unvaccinated children between the ages of 5-11 can also skip the pre-entry COVID-19 test previously required, provided that they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. Children under the age of five do not face any of these requirements. All unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 must submit a negative test result.

One requirement that remains in place for all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, is use of the ArriveCAN app, where travelers can enter personal information and travel plans. This is also where vaccinated travelers enter their vaccination data.

Canada will also lessen some of its federal COVID-19 health restrictions for those in the country as well starting on Monday. The government is dropping its mask-wearing requirement for fully vaccinated people in public spaces, and eliminating the requirement for fully vaccinated visitors to quarantine if another traveler in their group shows COVID-19 symptoms. Those visitors also no longer face a requirement to keep a list of close contacts and places visited.

Travelers and residents alike could still face masking or other requirements from individual localities or provinces.

Related: My experience crossing the Canadian border

As Canada has lessened COVID-19 requirements, one caveat that’s continued to exist is the possibility you could get randomly tested as part of health officials’ effort to monitor case trends. Canada is now “re-focusing” these randomized tests to four Canadian airports: Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ). Ostensibly, this means travelers crossing at Canada’s many land borders would not be subject to potential random testing, with the program centered solely on those flying into the country.

Travelers at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Canada. (Photo by Yu Ruidong/China News Service via Getty Images)

Canada is currently listed at Level 3: High on the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notices page. The United States is also listed at Level 3. However, Canadian health officials are tracking a decrease in COVID-19 cases. The government’s latest weekly report showed a 13% drop in new cases between April 10-16, compared to the previous week.

Featured photo by Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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