BY SURJIT SINGH FLORA
Travellers entering Canada may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as new rules will allow fully vaccinated travellers to “skip the line” when entering the country.
The federal government announced Monday that fully vaccinated travellers entering from the U.S. will be able to cross the border without undergoing the quarantine process from Aug. 9, while citizens from other countries will be able to do the same starting on Sep. 7. American citizens and permanent residents of the United States will be able to travel to Canada on the condition that they have completed the COVID-19 vaccination, officials said during a news conference, while children under 12 will be exempt from quarantine requirements beginning from Aug. 9 onwards. Individuals who have completed both rounds of vaccine from one of the four approved available options, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, at least 14 days before arrival in Canada can skip the quarantine process, it was said.
The federal government also said in a statement that it “may make further adjustments” to its decision to ease border restrictions on Sep. 7. On the other hand, the decision will also honour the close ties between Canadians and Americans. The U.S. border closure will be extended for non-essential travel at both Canadian and Mexican land borders up through Aug. 21, said sources Wednesday. Citizens of other countries who have been fully vaccinated will have to wait until Sep. 7 to travel to Canada, the government said.
The restrictions will also be relaxed only if conditions regarding the management of the COVID-19 virus remain favourable. All travellers will need to provide proof of their vaccination by uploading the Arrive- CAN app or website before taking a flight to Canada. They will also have to bring their vaccine certificate to show to the border officials. On Monday, the government also announced that it was increasing the number of airports where international flights would be accepted. Montreal- Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport, as well as Quebec City Jean-Lesson International Airport, Ottawa McDonald’s International Airport, Winnipeg International Airport, Winnipeg International Airport, Winnipeg International Airport. From Aug. 9, the number of such airports will be increased from four to nine. International flights will also be accepted.