Canada border restrictions extended to July 21: public safety minister

Shelby Thevenot
Published: June 18, 2021

Canada will be extending its restrictions on international travellers until July 21.

Public safety minister, Bill Blair, confirmed the news in a tweet on June 18, saying Canada is extending travel restrictions on non-essential international travel until July 21st, 2021.

Blair also said the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, and others who are currently exempt from the restrictions to enter Canada. More details are forthcoming Monday.

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The list of exempt travellers includes Canadian citizens and permanent residents, their family members, work permit holders, some international students, and some approved permanent residents.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that the method for proving vaccination status will come in two phases. In the short term, the plan is that incoming travellers will upload their vaccination documents to the ArriveCAN app. Eventually the government is planning to establish a national certification status that will be accepted around the world. This step will have to involve the provinces, Trudeau said, as vaccination falls under provincial jurisdiction.

In previous announcements, health officials have said that Canada will only recognize travellers as fully vaccinated if they received one of the four vaccines approved in Canada: Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson and Johnson.

The Canadian government originally closed its borders to non-essential travellers in March 2020. Since then, the government has adjusted the rules to require COVID-19 testing before and after arrival, as well as a period of mandatory quarantine. Canada also closed international flights to just four major airports.

In the fall of 2020, Canada expanded the list of travellers who were exempt from travel restrictions. International students going to a Designated Learning Institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan were allowed to come to Canada to study. The exemptions also included extended family members, as well as travellers coming to Canada for compassionate reasons such as a funeral.

In February, Canada also added the mandatory hotel quarantine on incoming international travellers. New airport arrivals were to go immediately to wait the results of a COVID-19 test at a government-approved hotel at their own expense. They could be released to carry out their quarantine after their test results came back.

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