Canada drops COVID-19 travel vaccine rules, but U.S., other countries still want proof

·3 min read

People flying within Canada or departing on international flights will no longer have to show proof of vaccination in order to board an airplane or train. The changes will go into effect on June 20, but can be rescinded should COVID-19 case numbers increase over time.

The move to relax some mandates comes as a result of key indicators, such as the epidemiological situation and modelling, vaccine science and the high level of Canadians who have gotten vaccinated. Masks are still required on federally regulated transportation via trains and planes.

For those arriving into Canada by air, land or water, vaccine measures remain in place. The new measures also don’t apply to passengers or crew onboard cruise ships.

If numbers spike in coming months, Ottawa will bring back vaccine policies to protect Canadians.

“Our government will not hesitate to make additional adjustments to the latest public health advice and science,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Tuesday at a press conference.

Toronto-based Infectious Disease Specialist Isaac Bogoch says these new relaxed travel mandates doesn’t mean the virus is going anywhere.

This is a hallmark feature of the virus. We’re going to see variants and waves emerge in the future. Our next wave will likely be driven by a sublineage of Omicron.Dr. Isaac Bogoch, Infectious Disease Specialist

However, future waves may be less and less impactful to Canadians.

Another part of travel into Canada that will remain in place for now is the use of the ArriveCan app. The app allows travellers to identify how and where they are entering the country.

Canadians will also have to follow entry requirements when travelling to other countries. The United States is one of many countries who continue to enforce proof of vaccination upon entry.

Vaccine requirements for popular travel destinations

Mexico - No COVID-19 tests are required before or on arrival and it is open to unvaccinated travellers.

Australia - Most travellers from Canada with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination can enter, but there are restrictions. States and territories are responsible for determining and managing quarantine requirements

New Zealand - All fully vaccinated Canada passport holders can enter New Zealand and do not need to self-isolate or go to quarantine.

France - Vaccinated persons shall be under no restrictions when entering metropolitan France. If you are already vaccinated, you only have to show proof of vaccination status. Unvaccinated travellers must present a negative test to travel to France but the measures on arrival (test, isolation) are lifted when they come from countries on the "green" list, characterized by moderate circulation of the virus.

England - You do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel, take any COVID-19 tests or quarantine when you arrive in England. This applies regardless of vaccine status.

Iceland - Travellers are welcome to visit regardless of vaccination status.

Italy - COVID-19 vaccination passports or certificates are not required for entry. Pre-departure tests are no longer required and there are no quarantine requirements.

Dominican Republic - As of April 23, 2022, all passengers and crew members do not need to present a COVID-19 Vaccination Card, PCR, or antigen test to enter the Dominican Republic or to enter tourist centres, any establishments or to receive services such as excursions. Random COVID-19 testing for passengers and crew upon arrival in the Dominican Republic will no longer be performed. However, when required, random testing operations may be performed. Passengers who present their Vaccination Card will be exempted from random testing.

Cuba - Vaccinated travellers are allowed to enter the country without a pre-arrival COVID-19 test. Unvaccinated travellers must present proof of a PCR test within 72 hours of entering Cuba.

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