Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced in a news conference Friday that, as of 30NOV, fully vaccinated Canadians who take short trips – 72 hours or less – outside of Canada, will be exempted from providing a negative molecular (PCR) test to re-enter Canada.
The government notes this exemption extends to accompanying children under 12 years of age.
The relaxed border rules apply to all types of entry to Canada – land, air and maritime entries – but not yet to Canadians taking longer trips, or to any citizens of other countries.
At the same time, the health minister announced an expanded list of international vaccines that the Government of Canada would now accept for full vaccination. Also beginning 30NOV, the WHO list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines, including Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covaxin will be accepted. That will facilitate international non-essential tourism into Canada.
As of 15JAN 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These include those entering Canada for family reunification, as international students, athletes, temporary foreign workers and essential workers.
Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign travellers will be prohibited entry into Canada.
In addition, beginning 30NOV, a negative PCR test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to full vaccination. Full vaccination will be a requirement for all travel “within and out” of Canada, with limited, essentially only medical, exemptions permitted by application only.
While recent reports suggested that relaxing PCR testing rules for short trips for Canadians was the first of a series of phasing out of PCR border testing, today’s announcement did not confirm any future phases for longer trips by Canadians, or for U.S. or international arrivals.