After announcing their plans for a “phased easing” of border restrictions in the coming months, it has been reported that Canada will relax restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from February 28th.
Canada originally set restrictions in March 2020, with only 4 airports open to accept flights where allowed. This was extended to 18 airports in December of 2021, however, the spread of Omicron had an impact on restrictions around the world, including Canada’s border policies.
The easing of these restrictions affects both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers and could open many opportunities for travellers and travel businesses alike when Canada relax restrictions at 1 minute past midnight on February the 18th.
For fully vaccinated travellers this means that PCR pre-departure tests will no longer be required to enter Canada. This rule will also apply to all unvaccinated children under the age of 12. Fully vaccinated travellers and children under 12 will either need to:
- Present evidence of a negative result on a lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of departure; or
- Present evidence of a negative result on a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Lateral flow tests must be administered by a lab, healthcare entity, or telehealth service, according to the announcement from Canada. The re-introduction of lateral flow tests is a great addition for Canada, making travel for foreign, fully vaccinated, travellers more affordable than it has been over the past couple of years during Covid.
Some arrivals in Canada will be randomly selected to take a PCR test, but, they will not be required to quarantine while they await the results.
“Today’s announcement is an important step on our pathway to a safe and prudent reopening,” said Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault. “This is a gradual process that puts science and evidence at the centre of our decision-making.”
This decision for Canada to relax restrictions was made in part due to the Omicron statistics, with Canada passing its peak in the spread of Omicron, the Covid variant that has become the dominant strain in several parts of the world.
Unvaccinated travellers are still banned from Canada unless they have an exemption. Unvaccinated travellers that have been allowed into the country will be required to take a test on arrival and a day-8 test, and they must quarantine for 14 days.
The Canadian authorities also no longer recommend Canadians avoid travelling for non-essential reasons. We recommend you keep up to date with the restrictions and requirements for your destination on the Foreign Travel Advice page to find out more and stay updated on changes like this.
This is fantastic news and we look forward to all of the wonderful holidays travellers can have in Canada in the following months. If you’re excited to take a great trip to Canada in 2022, book soon so you don’t miss out on some of the beautiful adventures Canada has to offer (you can find out some of the best reasons to visit Canada in our article).
So, if you’re looking forward to booking your next great holiday, don’t wait, get in touch with a travel business registered with PTS now for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about your consumer protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and articles.