Canada’s measures for fully vaccinated travellers now begin earlier

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 2, 2021

Fully vaccinated travellers will benefit from the reduced quarantine measure almost 24 hours earlier than expected.

Starting July 5 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine for 14 days or complete a day-eight test. Also, those arriving by air will not have to stay at a government-approved hotel to await their on-arrival test result.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving before that time will not benefit from the new measures. The exemption was originally going to start at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on July 5.

The new measure applies to travellers who are eligible to enter Canada amid border restrictions. Also, to those who have had a full dose of one of the vaccines approved in Canada.

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Criteria for fully vaccinated travellers

Canada's border patrol released a list of some specific criteria for how travellers can benefit from the reduced public health measures. There are three key points:

  • Be eligible to enter Canada. Meaning you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, family member, temporary foreign worker, international student going to an approved school, and others.
  • Be fully vaccinated. You need the full series of vaccines or a combination of vaccines that are approved in Canada. These include the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen. Importantly, you need to have received your last dose at least 14 days before entering Canada.
  • Meet all other criteria such as providing a proof of a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 test, and submitting mandatory information through the ArriveCAN app.

Submitting information to ArriveCAN

There will be a new update to the ArriveCAN app starting July 5 in the Google Play Store and the App sStore for iPhone. It is also available on desktop. Fully vaccinated travellers must use the new version to upload their proof of vaccination. Those who can't do it themselves can enlist friends and family members to do it on their behalf, the government says.

Documents must be in English or French. If not, travellers will need a certified translation in either official language.

The government has used this app throughout the pandemic to help travellers and border officers communicate.

Travel restrictions remain in place

Those who are not fully vaccinated are still subject to the same rules. They need to arrive at the border with a mandatory 14-day quarantine plan, and complete testing requirements. For non-vaccinated travellers, this means pre-arrival, on-arrival, and day-eight tests. Air travellers will need to wait the results of their on-arrival test at a government-approved hotel.

Canada's border restrictions were extended to July 21. Tourists are still not allowed to come to Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hinted the government could lift more restrictions in the weeks to come, once more people are fully vaccinated.

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