It’s official. Canada is finally dropping its travel mask and vaccine mandates.
Effective October 1, 2022, the Government of Canada will drop all border and travel mask and vaccine measures. This means that the following will be discontinued:
- submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
- provide proof of vaccination;
- undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
- carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
- monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada
- undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
- wear masks on planes and trains.
These measures also extend to sea operations. Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travelers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the United States.
Like the many other administrations that have dropped their respective protection policies, the Canadian government is still advising that travelers use their masks out of caution when taking trips.
They also suggest keeping the ArriveCAN app when entering at international airports like Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, or Montréal-Trudeau as it can be used to submit customs and immigration data, possibly saving up to 30% when they have use the kiosks on arrival. There are plans to extend this service to additional airports including Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City, and Halifax.
In a statement, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said:
“Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border. However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses and exercise individual public health measures. I also thank the dedicated public health officers and frontline staff at our land borders and airports who have worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of people in Canada for the last two years.”
Air Canada has been the first to issue a statement following the government’s announcement. The airline’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer said:
“Air Canada welcomes the removal of these restrictions, acknowledging that air travel is safe and that the measures were not justified by science. We believe it will greatly facilitate travel, help to continue stabilizing the country’s air transport sector and support Canada’s economy. Customers and crew will still have the option to wear masks and we also encourage customers to monitor their own health to be sure they feel well and fit to travel.”
[Featured Photo: Jim Trodel/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) ]