Canadians and exempt travellers who are fully vaccinated will soon have an amended quarantine requirement when arriving from abroad.
The federal government is actively considering a first-phase easing of border restrictions that would grant returning Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated a measure of relief from onerous post-travel quarantine rules, according to a senior government official.
This change, under serious consideration, would allow these travellers to isolate at home instead while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. Once the traveller received confirmation that their return COVID test was negative, they would no longer be under isolation restrictions.
Health Minister told reporters that travellers who are already exempt from travel restrictions, will not have to quarantine for the full 14 days if they have received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of arrival.
The health minister did not give a firm date for when these measures would go into place, but suggested “early July” as long as case counts continue to decline. Hajdu said the general ballpark estimate is the first week of July, but the federal government is still consulting with the provincial governments, as well as the departments of public safety and immigration.
Hajdu also said only vaccines that have been approved in Canada will be accepted. Currently, Canada has approved four vaccines: Astra Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna. Hajdu added that Health Canada will be assessing other vaccines in the future.
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Hajdu said that Canada will proceed with a phased approach to adjusting border measures, agreeing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s previous statements.
Travellers will still have to provide a negative PCR COVID test upon arrival to the border, as well as a suitable quarantine plan for while they wait for the result. They could be released in as little as one day provided the test result is negative.
Travel restrictions and the mandatory quarantine rules have been in place since Canada went into lockdown in March 2020. The three-day hotel stay quarantine has been a rule since this past February.