Canada to remove final Covid-19 travel restrictions

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(CNN) — From October 1, Canada is removing all remaining Covid-19 entry restrictions including testing, quarantine and isolation requirements, officials announced Monday.

“The Government of Canada will not renew the order in council that expires on September 30 and will therefore remove all Covid-19 border requirements for all travelers entering Canada,” said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.

“This includes the removal of all federal testing quarantine and isolation requirements as well as a mandatory submission of health information in ArriveCAN,” he said.

Fully vaccinated international travelers have been allowed to enter Canada since September 7, 2021. Unvaccinated citizens and permanent residents have been permitted to enter the country but must self-quarantine for 14 days.

“This means that as of October 1 travelers will no longer be required to undergo health checks for travel on air and rail or wear masks on planes and trains,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.

“Airlines will no longer need to review the vaccination status of foreign nationals, confirm travelers have submitted their required information in ArriveCAN or ensure compliance with the pre-entry testing requirements.”

ArriveCAN is a government-initiated mobile app in which travelers must input their health information, including vaccination status. From October 1 it will become voluntary for those who may want to save time at the airport by uploading customs declaration documents in advance.

“Similar changes will also apply to passengers traveling by cruise,” added Alghabra.

Passengers and crews on board ships will no longer be subject to vaccine requirements or testing before they board a vessel, he said.

While masks will no longer be mandatory on planes and trains, Alghabra said officials strongly encourage travelers to wear them.

Both ministers praised the vaccination rate as a main reason the restrictions could be rolled back. However, prior to the announcement, officials said case counts have increased in the country lately, while wastewater tests show local resurgences of the virus in some areas.

While deaths are decreasing and ICU levels remain low, the number of people hospitalized associated with the virus has been slow to decline, they said.

Officials anticipate a seasonal increase due to more time spent indoors, however they attribute high vaccination rates — over 85% of Canadians have received two vaccine doses — for giving the country a different “scorecard” to navigate the virus.

Top image: Travelers check in at Vancouver International Airport, Canada, on June 14, 2022. Credit: Liang Sen/Xinua/Getty Images

CNN’s Karla Cripps contributed to this report.

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