As part of its phased re-opening of the country’s international borders to fully-vaccinated travellers, the Government of Canada announced Monday that it is ending its mandatory hotel quarantine program as of August 9 and expanding the list of airports that will accept international flights into the country.
Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports in addition to Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
- Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport.
These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.
As of that date, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.
On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully-vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.
“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada. As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra in a news release.
All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy 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. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
With the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully-vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.
This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.
Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully-vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.