November 23, 2021

Recent Announcements of Adjustments to Canada’s Border and Travel Measures

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Air and Land Crossings within 72 hours

Effective 30 November 2021, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act will be exempt from presenting a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result, if they depart and re-enter Canada by land or by air within 72 hours.[1] This exemption will also apply to unvaccinated accompanying children under 12, and individuals with medical contraindications to vaccination who have right of entry into Canada. Travellers should maintain proof of the 72-hour period to show airline or rail companies and border officers as required.

Expanded List of Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

Effective 30 November 2021, Canada will expand the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility list to include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN. Travellers fully vaccinated with the aforementioned vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine (or, combination of vaccines) accepted by the Government of Canada[2] at least 14 days before entering Canada. Vaccines can be received in any country, but travellers must upload the proof of vaccination in English or French into ArriveCAN when travelling to Canada.

Adjustments of Entry Requirements for Certain Travellers

As of 15 January 2022, certain groups of individuals, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated with one of the accepted vaccines for entry into Canada, such as:

  • individuals travelling to reunite with family (unvaccinated children under 18 years of age will retain exemption if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is either fully vaccinated or a Canadian, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act).
  • international students who are 18 years old and older (unvaccinated students under the age of 18 must attend a designated learning institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan).
  • professional and amateur athletes.
  • valid work permit holders, including temporary foreign workers (outside of agriculture and food processing).
  • essential service providers (e.g., truck drivers, emergency service providers).

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals who reside in Canada temporarily will be allowed to leave the country without being fully vaccinated up until 28 February 2022. After that time, foreign nationals will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight or train in Canada.

For further information regarding the upcoming adjustments to Canada’s border measures, please visit Public Health Agency of Canada.[3] Border and travel measures are still very fluid. This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with one of our team members on this topic or any other legal issues.