Canadian government announces change to travel requirements | Small

On November 19, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the following changes to its travel requirements:

  1. Exemption for short-term travel of 72 hours or less

As of November 30, 2021, individuals will no longer be required to present a pre-entry molecular test (PCR test) at the Canadian port of entry upon their return to Canada as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Canada for travel;
  • Have a right of entry into Canada (that is to say, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons registered with the Indian Act);
  • Return to Canada by land or air; and
  • Can demonstrate that he has been absent from Canada for less than 72 hours.

This exemption extends to:

  • Accompaniment of children under 12; and
  • People with contraindications to vaccination.

No matter how long a traveler has been outside of Canada, they will continue to be required to submit their mandatory information through ArriveCAN.

  1. Expansion of the list of COVID-19 vaccines approved for travel

Currently, Canada only recognizes vaccines approved by Health Canada, including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. As of November 30, 2021, the list of COVID-19 vaccines approved for travel to Canada will be expanded to match the World Health Organization’s emergency use list. He will understand :

  • Sinopharm;
  • Sinovac; and
  1. Restriction of the category of travelers exempt from vaccination and / or quarantine requirements to enter Canada

As of January 15, 2022, the following groups of travelers, who are currently exempt from vaccination and / or quarantine requirements, will only be permitted to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for the country. entry into Canada:

  • People traveling to reunite with their families (unvaccinated children under the age of 18 will continue to be exempt if they are traveling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person registered under the Indian Act);
  • International students aged 18 and over;
  • Professional and amateur athletes;
  • Persons holding a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (other than those in agriculture and food processing); and
  • Essential service providers, including truck drivers.

After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they belong to the following groups:

  • Agriculture and food processing workers;
  • Maritime crew members;
  • Those who enter for humanitarian reasons;
  • New permanent residents;
  • Resettlement of refugees; and
  • Some children under 18.

Unvaccinated exempt travelers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine and other entry requirements.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated non-exempt foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Canada.

  1. Vaccination required to travel within and outside Canada

As of November 30, 2021, proof of being fully immunized will be required for travel within and outside of Canada. A valid COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination, except for travelers eligible for one of the limited exemptions (for example, medical inability to be vaccinated).

Net result for employers

Employers should familiarize themselves with the changes to Canada’s border measures that will soon apply to their employees who need to take business travel. The Government of Canada will continue to make changes to border restrictions over the coming months, in response to COVID-19 cases in Canada and abroad. Employers should be vigilant and pay attention to any relevant advertisements. We will monitor these announcements and provide updates as they are posted.