Canada easing some COVID-19 border rules for children and those fully vaccinated

Starting Monday, some of Canada’s pandemic border restrictions are being eased for those who are fully vaccinated and for children regardless of their vaccination status.

Soon, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children ages five to 11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian will not have to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test to enter Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced Friday.

Pre-entry tests will still be required for eligible partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers ages 12 and older, PHAC said. Children under five are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.

There are also changes coming to the current requirement on international travellers to provide a quarantine plan upon entry.

All who are fully vaccinated, children aged 5-11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian, and travellers who have a valid medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines, will no longer have to present a plan to isolate upon their return to Canada.

Further, fully vaccinated Canadians will not be federally required to mask while in public spaces for the 14 days following their return from abroad.

All travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, still have to continue to wear a mask throughout the duration of their travel journey if using federally-regulated means of transportation such as a plane or train, and will be informed by border agents when they can remove their mask.

These changes will come into effect April 25 as of 1 a.m. EDT.

Also effective Monday, the federal requirement for those coming into Canada from abroad to have to monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited, will be removed.

Canada is also axing the requirement for travellers to quarantine if another person in the same group develops symptoms or tests positive upon their return.

“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority and as vaccination levels and health-care system capacity improve, we will continue to consider further easing of measures at the borders based on science,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in a statement.

PHAC says that all travellers still have to use the ArriveCAN app or webpage to provide their mandatory travel information—such as contact info and proof of vaccination— within 72 hours of arriving in Canada, or before boarding a plane or cruise ship destined for this country.

Government officials are cautioning that failure to properly fill out their ArriveCAN forms may be subjected to quarantine or they could face fines and other enforcement actions.

More to come…

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