COVID-19 Canada travel rules: Canada's vaccination requirement for travel is now in effect

COVID-19 Canada travel rules: Canada's vaccination requirement for travel is now in effect
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As of Nov. 30, everyone age 12 and older will need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to travel from Canadian airports and trains, including VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

This policy came into effect on Oct. 30 but until the end of November, there was a "transition period" where proof of a negative PCR test with 72 hours of travel was accepted for individuals who were not fully vaccinated. This alternative will not be accepted moving forward.

What if you can't get vaccinated?

At a press conference earlier this month, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, explained that if, for example, someone is medically unable to be vaccinated, they need to contact the airline or rail company they are travelling with to submit the required information. Travellers with exemptions will have to submit a temporary exemption form, signed by a doctor or nurse practitioner, and provide a valid negative PCR COVID-19 test result. Operators will be required to report exemptions granted.

In January 2022, travel rules will expand again

Additional travels limits for individuals who are not fully vaccinated will come into effect on Jan. 15, 2022. As of that date, some people who are currently exempt from entry requirements will only be allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated. These groups include:

  • Individuals travelling to reunite with family (unvaccinated children under 18 years of age will retain exemption if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is a Canadian, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act);

  • International students who are 18 years old and older;

  • Professional and amateur athletes;

  • Individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (outside of those in agriculture and food processing);

  • Essential service providers, including truck drivers.

Canada has also expanded the list of COVID-19 vaccines that considers individuals fully vaccinated for the purposes of travel to or within Canada.

As of Nov. 30, this includes vaccines from Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.