On June 9, 2021, the Canadian government announced upcoming changes to mandatory quarantining requirements for some travellers entering the country. Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says current restrictions at the Canadian border in response to COVID-19 could ease up as early as the first week of July 2021. 

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This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Here’s how upcoming changes to quarantining regulations will affect Permanent Residents, temporary foreign workers, international students, and other newcomers to Canada:

What are the current quarantine requirements for entering Canada?

Currently, all travellers, including Permanent Residents, Temporary Foreign Workers,  and International Students (and their accompanying family members) are required by law to take the following steps when entering or reentering Canada:

  • Travellers must take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.
  • Travellers must take a second test when they arrive in Canada.
  • Travellers arriving by air must spend up to the first three days of their 14-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
  • Travellers are also required to take a third COVID-19 test towards the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Essential service workers with a federal or provincial travel exemption are not required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Canada. 

What quarantine changes is the Canadian government proposing?

The new rules would mean the following changes for Permanent Residents who are entering or reentering Canada and who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to arriving in Canada:

  • They will need to show proof of full vaccination with one of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada (see below).
  • They will need to provide an official translation of vaccination documents if documents are not in French or English.
  • They will need to show proof of taking a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving in Canada.
  • They will be exempt from the current mandatory government-approved quarantine hotel, but must have a suitable quarantine plan until they wait for their COVID-19 test results. 
  • They will be required to take another COVID-19 test upon arriving and must quarantine until the test result is negative.
  • They will be able to end their quarantine, without waiting for a full 14 days, if their COVID-19 test result comes back negative.

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At this time, these changes will not apply to International Students and Temporary Foreign Workers, who will need to complete the current 14-day quarantine regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated.

Which COVID-19 vaccinations are required for quarantine exemption?

The upcoming changes would mean that Permanent Residents and Canadian citizens who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will be exempt from the mandatory hotel stay and the full 14-day quarantine. The Federal government has stated that only COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada will be accepted. 

These vaccines currently include: 

  • AstraZeneca
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer 

The government has yet to announce whether a “vaccine passport” will be required or how proof of full vaccination will work when arriving in Canada. This is still being decided between federal and provincial governments. 

What if I am fully vaccinated but travelling with family members who are not?

The Canadian government has yet to announce how changes to quarantine laws will affect fully vaccinated adults who are travelling with unvaccinated children and/or other family members. It is expected that the government will announce further details on changes to quarantine regulations. Newcomers to Canada should check the Government of Canada website on up-to-date information on COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders

When will these changes come into effect?

These quarantine rule changes could come into effect as early as the first week of July 2021. The Federal government has stated that it will depend in part on the spread of COVID-19 both within Canada and around the world, as well as how many people are hospitalized. 

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This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Where can I get more information on mandatory quarantining when entering Canada?

For up-to-date information on changes to quarantining in Canada, visit the Canadian Government travel website.
Information on COVID-19 is also available in 15 other languages on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

 

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