What are Canada’s New Entry Requirements for International Travellers?

Canada officially reopened its borders this September, allowing fully vaccinated tourists to enter the country for any reason, such as business, education, and travel. And now the government is lifting the travel ban, making it easier to tour the Great White North.

Besides receiving two doses of the approved vaccine, you must satisfy other criteria before entering Canada. Here are some of the requirements you need to fulfill before booking a flight to Canada.

Be Fully Vaccinated

All foreigners aged above 18 must be fully vaccinated before they travel to Canada. This means you must have received two doses of Astrazeneca, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccines. The second dose must have been administered 14 days before you travel from your destination, and you must not show any symptoms of the virus, namely fever and difficulties in breathing.

You can enter the country with unvaccinated children and adult dependents, but they must undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine before they start moving around the country.

Get a Pre-entry Test

Before entering Canada, all travellers aged above five, including citizens and permanent residents, must return negative COVID-19 PCR tests 72 hours before the departure of their flight. It’s worth noting that the authorities don’t recognise rapid antigen tests – only molecular tests like PCR are acceptable.

Get a pre-entry test

Canada requires that all travellers over the age of 5 (including citizens and permanent residents) have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your flight departure time. Specifically, you must complete a molecular test (such as a PCR), as rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

You can submit test results in electronic or paper form, provided it includes your name and date of birth, the name and address of the testing facility, the type and date of the test, and the test result. Ensure that you keep the test results for at least two weeks after landing in the country.

Upload Digital Proof of Vaccination

Seventy-two hours before you depart to Canada, upload official proof of vaccination to ArriveCAN, the official digital platform of the Canadian government. The document can be in PDF form or a photo, but it must include the following details:

  • Your name
  • The organisation that provided the vaccine
  • The type of vaccine received
  • The date of vaccination

You must also carry the proof of vaccination when you arrive at any Canadian border point and keep it for 14 days after your arrival. If the document isn’t in English or French, you must provide a recognised translation into one of the two languages. 

Prepare for a COVID-19 Test on Arrival

Being fully vaccinated doesn’t exempt you from taking a COVID-19 test when you arrive in Canada. Although these tests are random, you get a notification from border control when chosen. However, children and individuals who have recovered from the virus within the past six months may be exempt from the tests.

The instructions you receive determine where you’ll take the test. It might be at the airport or where you intend to get accommodation. Regardless, the test must be taken on the first day of arrival. If you test positive, you’ll need to contact local public health authorities.

Have a Backup Quarantine Plan

Border control has the mandate to determine if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller. If you don’t satisfy the requirements, you must undergo a 14-day quarantine. You can choose your preferred quarantine area from a list of specified options.

Wrapping Up 

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, Canada has implemented new restrictions until January 31st, 2022. Travellers from Southern Africa are barred from entering the country, while citizens and residents must undergo testing and quarantine. Notably, these restrictions are subject to change depending on the developments regarding the Omicron variant.