Canadian Manufacturing

Feds ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals

Between Aug. 9 and 26, the positivity rate for randomly selected, fully vaccinated travellers was just 0.19 per cent despite the increase in cases in both Canada and the U.S.

September 7, 2021  The Canadian Press

The federal government has added fully vaccinated foreign nationals to the ranks of travellers who are once again welcome on Canadian soil.

As of midnight on Sept. 6, quarantine requirements were eased for non-essential international travellers who have had a full course of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

To be eligible, travellers must have allowed at least 14 days to pass since their last vaccine shot and show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that’s no more than 72 hours old.

They are also required to use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details.

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Denis Vinette, vice-president of the travellers branch of the Canada Border Services Agency, says the latest wave of vaccinated visitors is arriving primarily by air.

Vinette says that simplifies matters for the agency, since airlines will be screening travellers to ensure they meet the criteria.

“The great thing in air is that you’ve got the airline working with you, who will not allow individuals to get on if they’re not meeting all of the requirements,” Vinette said in an interview. “The land border is a different beast.”

Canada has approved four COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, also known as Covishield, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson option.

Vinette said the agency will continue to conduct random tests of travellers at the border, a surveillance program that has been in place since the phased-in process of easing travel restrictions began earlier this summer.

Between Aug. 9 and 26, the positivity rate for randomly selected, fully vaccinated travellers was just 0.19 per cent despite the increase in cases in both Canada and the U.S.

“While cases are currently increasing in Canada, the illness severity and hospitalization rates remain manageable as Canada’s vaccination rates continue to rise,” the agency said in a release last week.

“This data, along with continued adherence to public health measures by Canadians and incoming travellers, means that Canada is better able to prevent outbreaks of infection and can now allow more incoming fully vaccinated travellers without increasing the risk to the health and safety of Canadians.”