On June 21, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that it will begin the first phase of its approach to easing the COVID-19 travel measures. Beginning on July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, travellers deemed to be fully vaccinated, and who are permitted to enter Canada, will be exempt from several of these measures. Further details published by the Government of Canada here.
Canada’s COVID-19 travel measures, as well as the new provisions easing these measures for fully vaccinated travellers, are set out in the current version of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) (the Quarantine Order).
This relaxed application of Canada’s COVID-19 travel measures will only apply to a “fully vaccinated person.” According to the Quarantine Order, such a person must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine dosage regimen (the Regimen), at least 14 days prior to entering Canada, which complies with the following requirements:
The Quarantine Order also states that a vaccine authorized for sale in Canada does not refer to a similar vaccine sold by the same manufacturer that has been authorized for sale in another jurisdiction. For the purposes of qualifying as a fully-vaccinated person under the above definition, such a similar vaccine would not be sufficient.
The Government of Canada’s announcement clarifies that currently-accepted vaccines include:
Only one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine is required in order to be considered fully vaccinated. Two doses are required for the remaining vaccines.
At the present time, the Quarantine Order requires all international travellers (at least five years of age or older) who are entering Canada (unless exempt) to adhere to the following COVID-19 travel measures (among others):
As of July 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, an asymptomatic, fully vaccinated person will not be subject to the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Requirement, the Self-Quarantine Requirement, or the second COVID-19 test imposed by the In-Canada Testing Requirement (performed on the eighth day following the person’s initial entry to Canada). However, fully vaccinated persons must comply with the following requirements:
Fully vaccinated persons must also comply with the following requirements during the 14-day period beginning on the day on which they enter Canada:
According to the online guidance, non-vaccinated children under 18 years of age or dependent adults travelling with fully vaccinated persons will also be exempt from the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Requirement. This is particularly significant for non-vaccinated children under 12 years of age, who are not currently eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. However, these non-vaccinated individuals will still be subject to the Self-Quarantine Requirement and the second in-Canada COVID-19 molecular test (currently performed on the eighth date following the person’s initial entry to Canada), which is imposed by the In-Canada Test Requirement.
Persons who are in self-quarantine normally may not have contact with other people with whom they did not travel. However, in the case of a minor child, they may have contact with other people who are providing care and support to them, and who reside with the minor child, during the 14-day self-quarantine period.
According to the Quarantine Order, evidence of COVID-19 vaccination must be a document issued by the government or the non-government entity that administered the COVID-19 vaccine. This document must contain:
If the documentation evidencing the COVID-19 vaccination is not in English or French, it must be accompanied by a certified English or French translation.
Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination must be provided at the following times:
The fully vaccinated person must also submit their vaccination information and vaccination documentation electronically, when completing their ArriveCAN questionnaire.
Every person must also retain the above evidence during the 14-day period beginning on the day on which the person enters Canada. They must also be prepared to provide this evidence, upon request, to any official of the Government of Canada, including a public health official, or of the government of a province or to the local public health authority of the place where the person is located.
Canada’s travel restrictions, which prohibit the entry of foreign nationals who wish to enter Canada for optional or discretionary (i.e., non-essential) purposes, will remain in place for the time being, and have been extended until at least July 21, 2021. Consequently, only members of the following groups will be eligible to benefit from the easing of Canada’s COVID-19 travel requirements: