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Canada to Drop All Pandemic Travel Restrictions Including Airline Mask Mandate From October 1

Canada to Drop All Pandemic Travel Restrictions Including Airline Mask Mandate From October 1

Canada is to ditch all remaining pandemic-era travel restrictions from October 1, “thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated,” claimed Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos after the announcement was made on Monday morning.

In recent months, Canada had become a major outlier in its approach to COVID-19 at the border. Foreign visitors have had to be fully vaccinated, all passengers were required to complete documentation on Canada’s ArriveCAN app, random testing on arrival has been enforced, and a mask mandate is still in place.

From October 1, however, all of those measures will be abandoned in one fell swoop. Although the decision had been leaked by several Canadian media outlets last week, the government only confirmed the changes on Monday.

“Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border,” commented Duclos on Monday.

“However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses and exercise individual public health measures,” Duclos continued.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra insisted that the long-running measures had “uccessfully mitigated the full impact of COVID-19 for travellers and workers in the transportation sector, and helped keep communities safe”.

From October 1, all travellers arriving in Canada will no longer have to:

  • Complete a health declaration on the ArriveCAN app or website.
  • Provide proof of vaccination
  • Undergo any form of pre-departure or post-arrival COVID testing
  • Undergo quarantine or isolation
  • Monitor for symptoms
  • Wear a face mask on planes or trains

Travellers should be aware, however, that COVID-19 remains listed as a communicable disease in Canada’s Quarantine Act and a quarantine officer could order individual into quarantine if they fall sick on their way to Canada.

The Canadian government faced hostility from the travel sector when it dropped mandatory random testing earlier this year, only to bring it back a few months later in response to the emergence of the BA.5 Omicron variant.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had accused Canada of “throwing red tape at the pandemic” in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. IATA had called for Canada to drop travel restrictions back in July.

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