Today, the federal government announced the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, including testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022. The removal of COVID-19-related border regulations means that all travelers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination when entering Canada, nor wear masks on planes and trains.
Beginning October 1, 2022, at 12:00am EST, all travelers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer be required to:
- Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
- Provide proof of vaccination;
- Undergo pre- or on-arrival COVID-19 testing;
- Carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
- Monitor or report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada;
- Wear masks on planes and trains;
- Provide pre-board tests, proof of vaccination, and submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website to board cruise ships.
Notably, this also means that all travelers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to October 1, 2022, at 12:00am EST, will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine or isolation, or complete their testing requirements.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday’s decision to drop the order-in-council regarding COVID-19 travel mandates is not a sign that the pandemic is over; rather, the decision was driven by modelling that indicates Canada has largely surpassed the peak of the Omicron wave, Canada’s high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, as well as high availability and use of vaccine boosters, rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19.
The upcoming COVID-19-related border and travel regulation changes will have a major impact on the Canadian economy as travel restrictions have a direct impact on the tourism industry, as well as the industries that produce inputs used by the tourism industry. For employers, these changes mean fewer cross-border staffing considerations with respect to applications. Employers will be able to send or relocate to Canada their best talent, as opposed to only sending talent that is vaccinated. Given labor shortages in so many industries, removing this barrier to entry to Canada is definitely good news.
Canada’s move to not renew the order-in-council regarding COVID-19 restrictions is a hopeful sign that the pandemic is nearing the end. However, for some, the move feels long awaited as the decision comes months after many other countries including the United Kingdom and Australia lifted such requirements. Looking forward, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is exploring the use of the ArriveCAN app as a tool for all travelers to use to simplify cross-border travel by providing travelers with easy access to information such as border wait times, and other self-serve functions.
If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss how these requirement changes impact your business, or any other immigration needs, we are happy to advise. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org