Bloomberg photo by Cole Burston. A Canadian flag flies outside the TD Tower in the financial district in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2021.

The Canadian government will further ease border restrictions beginning at 1 a.m. Monday.

When the new border-crossing measures take effect, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 5 to 11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, stepparent, guardian or tutor will no longer be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry to Canada. Pre-entry tests will still be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers 12 and older who are eligible to travel to Canada.

Children younger than 5 years old already are not required to provide a COVID-19 test result.

Additionally, all fully vaccinated travellers will no longer be required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry. This requirement will also be removed for children aged 5 to 11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, stepparent, guardian, or tutor and travellers with a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are committed to a safe reopening, one that provides predictability, flexibility and shows the world that Canada is one of the safest places to travel,” Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s minister of tourism, said in a news release announcing the moves on Friday. “Today’s announcement is another step forward for traveling families, tourism workers and business owners, and the Canadian economy as a whole.”

In addition, fully vaccinated travelers to Canada will no longer have to do the following for the 14 days after their arrival:

n Wear a mask in public spaces.

n Monitor and report if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

n Quarantine if a traveling companion reports symptoms or tests positive.

n Maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited.

All travellers are still required to use the ArriveCAN mobile app or website to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours of their arrival to Canada and/or before boarding a plane or cruise ship destined for Canada, including:

n contact and travel information, and

n vaccination information and proof of vaccination (if applicable).

Fully vaccinated travellers who do not submit their information into ArriveCAN:

n won’t be eligible for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption (i.e., they may have to submit a pre-entry test result and suitable quarantine plan, quarantine and undergo testing in Canada);

n may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning; and

n may be subject to fines or other enforcement action.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, must also continue to wear a mask throughout their entire travel journey.

“The gradual easing of restrictions for travellers is part of our balanced and science-based approach to managing COVID-19 and its variants. Although some restrictions may be easing, air and rail travellers are reminded that they are still required to wear a mask throughout their travel journey,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers eligible to enter Canada who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will continue to be tested with COVID-19 molecular tests on arrival and on Day 8, while they quarantine for 14 days. This includes unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers.

Travellers may experience delays at ports of entry due to the public health measures. Travellers should have their ArriveCAN receipt ready to present to the border services officer. Before heading to the land border, travellers should check Canada Border Service Agency’s website for estimated border wait times at select land ports of entry.

Travellers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing. Travellers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.

“Thanks to Canadians who are following health measures and getting vaccinated, we are continuing to ease border measures,” said Minister of Public Safety Marco E.L. Mendicino. “However, travelers may still experience delays at the border while some health requirements remain in place. People should be prepared by making sure they have their passports, ArriveCAN receipts and proof of vaccination ready when they cross into Canada.”

Canada’s action came a day after the U.S. indefinitely extended its COVID-19 travel restrictions allowing only fully vaccinated travelers to continue to be admitted to the U.S. via land or air.

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