Canada has eased COVID-19 restrictions for international tourists

Canada has eased COVID-19 restrictions for international tourists

Requirements for international travelers change from this Monday (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Government officials have announced in recent days several small changes to ease restrictions for international travelers that went into effect on Monday.

The first is that unvaccinated children 5-11 years old traveling with a fully vaccinated adult will no longer need a COVID-19 test to enter Canada from Monday, the federal government announced.

Pre-entry testing will continue to be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 who are eligible to travel to Canada. Children under the age of five currently do not need a COVID-19 test to enter Canada.

Fully vaccinated travelers and accompanying children under 12 nor will they need to provide their quarantine plans upon entering the country. Travelers are considered fully immunized when they have received at least two doses of an accepted Covid-19 vaccine.

However, fully vaccinated travelers may be randomly selected for COVID-19 molecular testing upon arrival, but they are not required to remain in quarantine pending the result. This random test is limited to four major international airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

To avoid this random testtravelers who have recovered from COVID-19 can show proof of a positive molecular test result taken no more than 180 days before entering Canada.

Pre-entry testing will continue to be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 who are eligible to travel to Canada (REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)
Pre-entry testing will continue to be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 who are eligible to travel to Canada (REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)

Vaccinated people arriving in Canada will not need to wear a mask for 14 days, maintain a contact list or report symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, travelers they will no longer need to self-quarantine if someone in their group develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive.

All travelers should always use the app ArriveCAN upload travel and vaccination information within 72 hours of arrival in Canada and/or before boarding an airplane or cruise ship bound for Canada.

“All travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, should also continue to wear a mask throughout their trip,” the government said in a statement.

Canada attracted more than a million travelers in a week for the first time since the pandemic, government data showed on Friday, as the easing of border restrictions due to COVID-19 encouraged visitors to return to the country.

As Canada nears its peak summer vacation season, tour operators are betting the resurgence seen in the first week of April will accelerate. Tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

Travelers will no longer need to self-quarantine if someone in their party develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive (REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham)
Travelers will no longer need to self-quarantine if someone in their party develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive (REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham)

“People are ready to spend more after being stuck at home for two years and want to stay in luxury properties in case COVID is still around,” said Alla Weintraub, luxury travel advisor at F1S. “People think these hotels will take better care of themselves,” he added.

Canada had imposed some of the strictest border measures to stop the spread of COVID-19But after Ottawa lifted the COVID testing requirement for vaccinated travelers starting in April, tour operators began to see a surge in bookings.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has stated that more than one million travelers were admitted to the country during the week of April 11. However, the number of visitors has decreased by around 44% compared to the period from April 15 to 17, 2019.

“Our phones have gotten busier, it’s given people more confidence. We’re still cautious, but it’s encouraging,” said Elyse Mailhot, Marketing and Communications Manager for Discover Canada Tours.

Growing travel demand should be a theme when Air Canada releases its quarterly results next week.

Tourism spending in Canada increased by 4.4% in 2021 to reach C$50.8 billion ($40 billion) from 2020, when it fell 49% from 2019, according to official data released in March. In 2021, tourism accounted for 4.1% of Canada’s GDP.

(With information from Reuters and AP)

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