Canada has always been on the prudent end of the spectrum when it comes to COVID precautions. For example, they enforced a 14-day quarantine for all individuals entering the country through July, 2021. And although the quarantine is no longer necessary for most, if you’re traveling to or within The Great White North, mask use is still required on all planes, trains and long-distance bus rides.
However one Canadian COVID rule that’s been in effect since October, 2021 will be changing, effective Monday, June 20th – the Government of Canada has announced that travelers over the age of 12 will no longer be required to prove they are vaccinated against Covid-19 before boarding a plane or train in the country.
If you’re from the U.S. and are still not vaccinated, don’t jump for joy and make plans to visit Banff just yet – the update rule only applies to domestic travel. So if you’re already in Toronto and want to travel to Edmonton, you won’t have to show proof of being vaccinated anymore. However border crossings into Canada, either by plane, train or long distance bus, will still require proof of being fully vaccinated.
Anyone who enters Canada is still required to download the ArriveCAN app and complete its questionnaire within 72 hours of arrival. Vaccinated travelers must upload proof of vaccination to the app in advance of arrival, while unvaccinated Americans (under specific circumstances – tourism is not one of them) and returning Canadians are still required to quarantine.
However once you’re IN Canada, you can fly or take a train within Canada (and back to the U.S., too!) without showing proof of being vaccinated.
For several weeks this summer, the Canadian government will also suspend random COVID testing of passengers arriving in Canada from international flights. During the “pause,” the process will be taken off-airport, since ever-increasing crowds in airports are making it very difficult for the process to continue on-site. Random testing will begin again, not at airports, effective July 1st.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told the CBC, “It is important to note that [randomized testing] will be reinstated as this is the only way we have of detecting new variants coming into the country, given that provinces and territories are no longer doing any PCR testing.”
The rare unvaccinated travelers (i.e. those who can’t be vaccinated due to medical reasons) will still be tested upon arrival, as a matter of course.
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