Canada eases entry conditions for vaccinated travellers

Fully vaccinated international travellers will no longer be required to take a molecular Covid-19 test in order to enter Canada.

Antigen testing, which are often less expensive and speedier than molecular tests, will now be available to fully vaccinated travellers.

The federal government has also withdrawn its travel recommendation, which advised Canadians to stay away from overseas trips.

The modifications arise as the number of instances of Covid-19 decreases across the country.

Canada’s top doctor announced earlier this month that the newest wave of the highly transmissible Omicron subtype has passed the country.

Beginning in December, Canada observed a sharp increase in case counts, until infections began to level off in the final days of January.

In the coming weeks, the relaxed entrance rules will be reevaluated, with the goal of eliminating all testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians who travel for less than 72 hours.

Vaccinated travellers will have the option of employing a negative quick antigen test no more than one day before their departure flight or a molecular test within 72 hours of their departure flight under the new policy. Those who are randomly tested upon arrival will no longer be required to quarantine while waiting for results.

Unvaccinated Canadians can take a quick test before flying, but they must also take a molecular test once they arrive, as well as another eight days later, and isolate for two weeks.

Approximately 80% of Canadians are completely vaccinated, with more than 40% receiving a booster shot.

Several jurisdictions, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, have recently announced the lifting of pandemic restrictions due to a sustained drop in infection rates.

Opposition to such limitations sparked a weeks-long sit-in in Ottawa, as well as a number of border crossings, slowing trade and paralysing Canada’s capital city’s downtown centre.

After a heated standoff with police, demonstrators were evacuated from Ottawa earlier this month.

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