Canada Reopens Air Borders for Non-Essential Travel

by Carolee Chanona

Since September 7, fully vaccinated foreign nationals have been eligible to enter Canada for non-essential reasons, such as tourism as they reopen borders; if they meet certain expectations. To enter the country travelers must be fully vaccinated, provide a negative COVID test before travel, be asymptomatic, submit the mandatory information via ArriveCAN, be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and take a test on arrival. As of midnight Monday night, September 6, quarantine requirements were eased for non-essential international travelers who have had a full course of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines Canada is currently accepting

A U.S. Army soldier prepares to administer Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccines at a vaccination center at the Miami Dade College North Campus in North Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Governor Ron DeSantis said Florida will lower the vaccine eligibility age to 60 and up starting next Monday. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada has approved four COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, also known as Covishield, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson option.

Who’s eligible

Justin Trudeau Canada vaccine travel reopening plan

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, outlines the country’s travel reopening plan.

To be eligible, travellers must have allowed at least 14 days to pass since their last vaccine shot and show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that’s no more than 72 hours old. They are also required to use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details. The change marked the latest stage in Canada’s gradual easing of travel restrictions that were first imposed on travellers of all nationalities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020.

“The great thing in air is that you’ve got the airline working with you,” said Denis Vinette, vice-president of the agency’s travelers branch. “Airlines will not allow individuals to get on if they’re not meeting all of the requirements.”

Vinette said the agency will continue to conduct random tests among travellers, part of a surveillance program that has been in place since the phased-in process of easing travel restrictions began earlier this summer.

Direct flights to Belize

WestJet plane Canadian travel

WestJet take-off. Photo via John McArtuher/Unsplash

Back on the schedule, WestJet is slated to resume non-stop seasonal flights to Belize from Toronto and Calgary starting November 3, 2021. Canada continues to maintain its status as the third-largest tourism source market to Belize after the United States and Europe. Tickets are now available for purchase online, with direct flights from Calgary (YYC) at 6 hours 20 minutes and Toronto (YYZ) at 4 hours 46 minutes. AS Canada reopens their borders, travelers can now eye travel to Belize.

Header image of Toronto Pearson International via CNN

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