After a one-month grace period that allowed negative COVID test results in place of proof of vaccination, unvaccinated travelers will, for the most part, no longer be allowed to board a plane or train. passengers in Canada.
Transport Canada made the announcement in October and allowed travelers until November 29 to present a negative molecular test (PCR) performed within 72 hours of travel instead of proof of vaccination.
The changes come on the same day Ontario marks a dark milestone surpassing the province’s 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. The national balance sheet is approaching 30,000.
This is the latest on the changes to COVID-19 travel measures.
What are the new travel rules?
As of November 30, all passengers 12 years of age and over must show proof of vaccination in order to board a plane or train in Canada.
If your child has just turned 12, there is a four month exemption period after the child’s 12th birthday during which they will not have to be vaccinated or tested. Canada says this gives children enough time to be fully immunized.
The rules do not apply to commuter trains, including GO Transit and UP Express trains operated by Metrolinx.
While all Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act will still be able to enter the country regardless of their immunization status, they will not be permitted to travel “beyond their point of departure.” entry into Canada on a connecting flight or by rail ”with limited exemptions. Some of these exemptions include travel from remote communities, medical reasons, and “sincere religious beliefs”.
Most travelers eligible for an exemption will also need to show proof of a negative molecular test (PCR) performed within 72 hours of boarding.
The new requirements came into effect on October 30, but the federal government gave travelers a month in which a negative COVID-19 molecular test (PCR) taken within 72 hours of boarding could be used instead of proof of vaccination.
While Canadian children aged 5 to 11 are now allowed to be vaccinated, unvaccinated children aged 12 and four months or younger are not required to present the results of a COVID-19 test to travel to the United States. inside the country or leave Canada. However, international destinations may have different regulations.
Other requirements such as wearing a mask, having a valid passport, meeting health and pre-boarding screening requirements are still in place. Children under the age of six are not required to wear a mask.
False claims are a criminal offense and may result in fines from Transport Canada.
More negative COVID tests for Canadians on short trips
Also effective Tuesday, the federal government lifted testing requirements for Canadians on short cross-border trips.
As of November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and those authorized to enter Canada will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter the country on trips of less than 72 hours.
The new rule does not apply to foreign nationals, international students or foreign workers.
No more Canadian airports authorized to receive international flights
Canada’s stricter travel vaccination measures also come into effect the same day Transport Canada eases restrictions on international passenger flights.
The following airports can now resume reception of international flights:
St. John’s International; John C. Munro Hamilton International; Region of Waterloo International; Regina International; Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International; Kelowna International; Abbotsford International; Victoria International
The eight airports are in addition to the 10 Canadian airports that are already authorized to receive international flights, including airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Latest news on the new Omicron variant
The new measures come into effect following the recent discovery of the new Omicron variant in Canada.
On Monday, Canada identified five cases of Omicron: four in Ottawa and one in Quebec. Public health officials are still investigating two more suspected cases in Hamilton.
Very little is known about the new variant first discovered in South Africa this month. Omicron has a large number of mutations and the World Health Organization (WHO) believes it is more transmissible and has already spread widely.
The discovery of the new variant quickly sparked travel bans around the world, with countries rushing to ban travel to and from countries in southern Africa. However, Omicron has already been discovered in places like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Portugal, and the UK. In some cases such as Belgium, travelers reported no connection to southern Africa.
The WHO has denounced the travel bans, echoing the sentiments of many that South Africa and its neighboring countries are now being penalized for doing what the wider world community had asked it to do to detect the news. variant. The country is grappling with a lightning-fast spread of the new, highly transmissible variant, especially among young people.
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