The Canadian government has announced that effective October 1, it will be dropping its Covid-19 vaccination requirement and end random Covid-19 testing for people entering the country. The current Covid-19 emergency order in council is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 30.
Effective October 1, 2022, all travelers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website; provide proof of vaccination; undergo pre- or on-arrival testing; carry out Covid-19-related quarantine or isolation; or monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of Covid-19 upon arriving to Canada.
Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. Travelers will no longer be required to undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or wear masks on planes and trains.
Although the masking requirement is being lifted, all travelers are strongly recommended to wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.
Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travelers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the U.S.
On September 20, 16 Members of Parliament and mayors of 15 Canadian and seven U.S. cities sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden calling on them to drop Covid-19 restrictions at the border. “When COVID-19 was at its peak and border measures were effective at slowing transmission rates, we did our part to keep Canadians and Americans safe,” they wrote. “Now, we have been left behind in the recovery effort as both countries have largely returned to normal life.”
On hearing of the change in policy, one of the signatories to the letter, Windsor, Ontario mayor Drew Dilkens said, “I’m pleased to see that border restrictions and use of the ArriveCan app to enter Canada are being dropped later this week. This is a good sign for our economy and the restart of tourism. It is my hope the United States will follow Canada’s lead and end restrictions for Canadians looking to visit the United States. It’s time to move forward.”
Blaine immigration attorney Len Saunders said, “It’s definitely a step in the right direction and is encouraging but why haven’t the Americans taken similar steps? Aren’t the two governments talking to each other? As it is, it helps Americans more than Canadians. They will be able to come and go, regardless of their vaccination status but unvaccinated Canadians won’t be able to come to the States. I’d be interested in knowing if Justin had called Joe to tell him what he was planning to do and suggest that Joe do the same.”
Saunders described the changes as “baby steps” and said the two governments should also be cooperating on Nexus, the trusted traveler program that has huge delays in processing hundreds of thousands of applications currently.
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