Starting August 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EDT, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States (U.S.), currently residing in the U.S., will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. Starting September 7, 2021, other fully vaccinated foreign nationals may come to Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes.
To be eligible to enter Canada, fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents must have received the full series of a vaccine – or combination of vaccines – accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are:
- Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
- Moderna (mRNA-1273)
- AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must provide evidence supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation (along with the original).
What Changes on August 9?
Entry to Canada
- Allow discretionary (non-essential) travel for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents, currently residing in the U.S., who meet all required criteria. This includes the need to submit information electronically through ArriveCAN.
- Allow entry of unvaccinated children under 12 years of age, or unvaccinated dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition), who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently residing in the U.S. and who are accompanying a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor who either has a right to enter Canada (e.g. Canadian citizens and permanent residents), is a U.S. citizen and permanent resident currently residing in the U.S, or is otherwise is permitted entry under the US Prohibition on Entry Order made under the Quarantine Act. They must meet all other required criteria, including submitting information electronically through ArriveCAN and all testing requirements.
- Travellers who do not meet all the required eligibility requirements for discretionary (non-essential) travel will be denied entry into Canada, precluded from boarding their flight, and/or could face additional fines on arrival. It is therefore important that all travellers find out about whether they are eligible to enter Canada well in advance of their travel, and understand applicable requirements.
- Allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents travelling to the U.S. for less than 72 hours to do their pre-entry test in Canada.
- Allow individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, but continue to test positive, to present a positive COVID-19 molecular test result on a specimen taken 14 to 180 days prior to arrival in Canada as part of the pre-arrival test requirements.
- Adjust post-arrival testing for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. This shift responds to the pandemic’s evolution and will monitor prevalence in travellers. It will also identify new variants of concern entering Canada and provide intelligence, including vaccine effectiveness.
- There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
Temperature Screening Requirements
- Due to the improving epidemiological situation in Canada, effective August 9, 2021, Transport Canada will remove the requirement for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to perform pre-board temperature screening of passengers on all domestic flights and international departures (including Transborder), as well as airport workers.
- These changes will make the travel process more streamlined, ensuring that passengers spend less time in airports, while still maintaining necessary public health measures (e.g., wearing of masks at airports and on board all flights to, from and within Canada).
- Eliminate the three-night government-authorized hotel stay requirement for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on August 9.
- Continue to require unvaccinated travellers to undergo Day 1 and Day 8 COVID-19 molecular tests, and complete a mandatory 14 day quarantine, subject to limited exceptions.
- Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age and dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition) of fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to complete a 14 day quarantine, but must follow strict public health measures. This includes those travelling from the U.S for discretionary purposes. This means they can move around with their parents, but must avoid group settings – such as camps or daycares – during the first 14 days after their arrival. Unvaccinated children will remain subject to the Day 1 and Day 8 testing requirements. Provinces and territories may have more stringent rules around people who have recently returned from travel. More details will be available in the coming days.
Proof of vaccination for foreign nationals permitted entry for discretionary purposes, who enter on the basis of their vaccination status
- Starting August 9, 2021, air carriers will be verifying that the travellers coming to Canada have submitted their information digitally by using the ArriveCAN app or website before they board their flight. Discretionary travellers who are unable to show their ArriveCAN receipt – either on their mobile device or a printed copy – will not be allowed to board their flight to Canada, as they are ineligible to enter Canada. In addition to their ArriveCAN receipt, travellers should carry their actual vaccine certificate with them to show officials at the border entry point.
Discretionary travellers include:
- Fully vaccinated American citizens or permanent residents who reside in the U.S., and are entering from the U.S. for discretionary (non-essential) travel (starting on August 9, 2021); and
- Other fully vaccinated foreign nationals coming to Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes (intended to start on September 7, 2021)
- Travellers with a right to entry, (e.g. Canadian citizens and permanent residents), or travellers who qualify for entry under another exemption (e.g. immediate or extended family member) or who are coming to Canada for essential reasons (such as temporary foreign workers, or international students) will not be denied boarding, but will be required to submit information relating to their vaccination status via the ArriveCAN app or website.
Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from IRCC. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.