Canada To End 14-day Quarantine for Vaccinated Citizens and Permanent Residents by July

by Carolee Chanona
Vancouver airport covid Canadians travel

The Canadian government eyes ending the current two-week quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers returning home, federal officials announced Wednesday. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said citizens, permanent residents, and essential workers with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can soon cross the border without staying at a government-authorized quarantine hotel stay—once they test negative.

“We’re aiming for early July. The general ballpark is the first week in July,” Haijdu said.

Travelers will still need a negative pre-departure PCR test and another test on arrival. They would quarantine at home until that test comes back negative. After that, they’d be free to go. The changes are part of a multi-step plan to reopen the country’s borders as more Canadians become vaccinated against COVID-19. Canada could move into the first stage of the plan as early as July if the vaccination rollout continues going well.

Leisure Travel Remains Closed

air Canada airplane tarmac

The changes would not apply to tourists, who are still not allowed into the country. Canada first closed its borders in March 2020 amidst the widening COVID-19 crisis. For the past 15 months, the U.S. and Canada have turned away tourists at entry points across the 5,500-mile land border in an effort to contain further spread of Covid-19. In light of progress in both countries on the Covid-19 vaccination front, business groups are now pushing Washington and Ottawa to reopen border crossings—to the fully vaccinated, at least at the start.

“The requirement to stay in a government hotel is being lifted for people who currently have the right of entry to Canada,” she said. “Categories approved for entry will remain the same.”

Only vaccines approved for use by Health Canada will allow travellers to skip hotel quarantine. Right now, those four shots are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Additionally, officials confirmed Canada is working with the provinces to develop a vaccine passport that Canadians can use to prove their vaccinated status at the border.

Header image features Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, BC, Canada. Photo via Charles Gao/Unsplash

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