As several provinces gradually begin reopening their economies and governments reconsider loosening travel and border restrictions, the rules for travelling to and within Canada have changed.
While vaccinated travellers are exempt from quarantining at federal government-mandated hotels, travellers will still need to adhere to several rules.
Whether you are an international traveller returning home from a trip abroad or a domestic traveller looking to enter certain provinces, thanks to the pandemic a trip domestically and internationally will not require a lengthy checklist.
Here are some of the key things to know about travelling to or within Canada, with the help of some Canadians who have already gone through the travel process.
Before Returning to Canada From a Trip Abroad Internationally
Although fully vaccinated Canadians can now skip quarantine when returning to Canada, they still face other requirements.
Travellers to Canada, even those who are fully vaccinated (has had two COVID-19 vaccination doses), must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Air passengers need to take the test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of their final direct flight to Canada.
In addition, travellers to Canada must submit their travel information to the federal government using the ArriveCAN app or by registering online within 72 hours before their arrival.
When travellers finish inputting their information, they’re emailed a receipt to show a Canadian border officer upon arrival, along with their COVID-19 test results and any vaccination documents.
Both land and air travellers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Canada, or be given a home test kit. The federal government provides the tests for free and travellers can pre-register online to save time.
Travelling with Children
Fully vaccinated travellers don’t have to quarantine while waiting for their test results. But Dukovich thought that she and her husband were required to because their five-year-old granddaughter — who’s staying with them — isn’t vaccinated.
Children under 12 are currently not allowed to get vaccinated in Canada.
Unvaccinated travellers — or those who got a vaccine currently not recognized by the Canadian government — must quarantine for 14 days. Those entering by air must also spend up to three of those days in a quarantined hotel at their own expense.
However, unvaccinated children under 18 can head home with their vaccinated parents. But they must quarantine — even though their parents can leave the house.
Travelling Within Canada
The rules can also be complex for domestic travellers.
Air passengers travelling within Canada don’t have to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.
However, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and the territories still require some inter-provincial travellers to quarantine.
The rules can vary depending on your vaccination status and/or where you’re travelling from. For example, most of the Atlantic provinces now allow travellers from within Atlantic Canada to enter, regardless of their vaccination status.
The rest of Canada can skip quarantine in the Atlantic provinces if fully vaccinated or, in the case of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, have at least one dose. (To note: P.E.I.’s exemption for vaccinated travellers doesn’t kick in until Sunday.)
Fully vaccinated travellers can also skip quarantine in Manitoba and the territories.
Manitoba, Yukon and the Atlantic provinces are also exempt from quarantine unvaccinated children under 12 — if all their vaccinated guardians meet the exemption requirement. In Nova Scotia, the rule applies to unvaccinated children ages 18 and younger.
The provinces and territories listed here may have further requirements for tourists, so travellers to those regions should check the rules online before packing their bags.
For example, the Atlantic provinces require certain visitors to pre-register, and travellers to Nunavut must first get authorization. Also, the Northwest Territories still bar most leisure travellers.
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