Canada to drop all COVID-19 travel restrictions
Ottawa, Sep 27: The Canadian government is dropping its COVID-19 border measures for all travelers from October 1, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced on Monday.
Foreign travelers will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or test on arrival. Quarantine policies for arriving travelers will also be scrapped.
"We are able to do this because tens of millions of Canadians rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated," Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said.
More than 90% of Canadians over 12 have been vaccinated.
Mask mandates will be lifted on trains and planes. The government would also no longer require passengers to have pre-board tests for cruise ships.
Coronavirus restrictions could return
The health minister said the government was prepared to reinstate restrictions if needed.
"Obviously we have no hope to reintroduce some of these measures but if we need to protect the safety of Canadians, we will have to," Duclos said.
Nonetheless, we anticipate COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses to increase over the colder months. It's as important as ever to stay up-to-date with our COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters and exercise individual public health measures.https://t.co/pK2H2BlX2Q— Jean-Yves Duclos (@jyduclos) September 26, 2022
The country has passed the peak of omicron infections and the aviation and travel industries have been pushing the government to relax the rules.
Most European countries, including Germany, dropped entry requirements related to the coronavirus before the summer travel season began.
The United States still requires foreign nationals to be vaccinated when entering the country. No change in the mandate was expected in the US in the near term.
Earlier this year, cross-border truckers organized a "Freedom Convoy" against vaccine mandates in Canada. The horn-blaring demonstrators targeted the Canadian capital city of Ottawa and other parts of the country, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoking emergency powers to quell the protests.