In order to allow international travel once again, Canada is accepting proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a way for travelers to gain access into the country as of September 7th. Known as a “vaccine passport” this will play an important role in the border reopening strategy that has come up.
Canada had previously reopened its borders to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers from the United States as well as permanent residents since August 9th.
But there’s more to know. Are you allowed to travel to Canada as a vaccinated traveler? What COVID-19 vaccines are accepted? We’ll go through all the details in this full guide.
Can Unvaccinated People Travel to Canada?
Canada has reopened to international travelers as of September 7th on the condition of being vaccinated. But, what about the unvaccinated individuals?
The short answer is no, international arrivals aren’t allowed to enter Canada at this moment in time unless they are international students, temporary workers, or diplomats. These groups of people will need to quarantine for 14 upon entering Canada and if not fully vaccinated.
Do you Still Need to quarantine Upon Entering Canada?
Only the permitted groups (international students, temporary workers, diplomats) and the fully vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival, even when fully vaccinated if you are symptomatic.
All other international travelers are not allowed in Canada as of now.
How to Get Vaccinated in Canada?
In case you aren’t vaccinated and able to enter Canada going through quarantine, you may want to get vaccinated.
Vaccines are free of charge in Canada for everyone. Everyone aged at least 12 is eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. On the other hand, those aged 18 years of age and older are eligible for the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines.
To start with, you need to make your appointment on the official website based on your province and territory. Once done, you need to go to the hospital allocated and get your COVID-19 vaccine.
Which COVID-19 Vaccines are Accepted in Canada?
There are 4 COVID-19 vaccines accepted in Canada and these are as follow:
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
With this in mind, and while they are offered by many other administrations globally, these COVID-19 vaccines aren’t accepted in Canada:
- Vector Institute
- Bharat Biotech
In addition, all other vaccines that aren’t on the above list of acceptable ones are not allowed to enter Canada.
Are You Eligible to Enter Canada?
Being fully vaccinated isn’t enough to enter Canada at this moment in time. In order for international travelers to enter Canada, these requirements are:
- All travelers aged 5 or more and no matter citizenship or vaccination status have to provide proof of a COVID-19 molecular test in order to enter the country.
- Having no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 infection
- Being fully vaccinated with 1 of the 4 eligible vaccines
- Upload your proof of jab against COVID-19 on the ArriveCAN form within 72 hours of departure
- Go through all the other requirements such as randomized tests or negative results
Lastly, you should have completed the full vaccinated procedure at least 14 full days before entering Canada. For instance, if your second or last dose was on August 16th, then you are allowed to travel to Canada as of September 2nd.
What are the Procedures at the Airport?
Upon landing in Canada, you will be required to show your proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and you might undergo a randomized test.
First and foremost, the 9 Canadian airports reopening to international travelers are:
- Calgary International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport
- Toronto Pearson International Airport
- Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
- Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport
- Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Other than that, international flights from India are still banned until September 21st at least while flights from Morocco are banned until September 29th at least.
In conclusion, travelers from almost all countries are allowed to travel to Canada to one of the reopened airports if they follow the requirements.
Randomized Tests at the Airport
Once landing at one of the allowed airports in Canada, you may be required to pass a randomized test by the border services officer.
If this is the case, you will be asked to get a COVID-19 test at the airport. You will not need to wait for the results but you may receive a self-test kit to do in the 24 hours after entering the country and arrange the pickup.
Once you complete the test, you can continue your travel or get on your connecting flight. Lastly, if you are chosen to undergo a test, you will not be required to pay for it.
What to do if you Test Positive Within 14 Days of Your Arrival?
Being vaccinated doesn’t necessarily mean that you will not test positive in the future. If you do test positive in the 14 days after your arrival, you must first contact the local health authority. They may require you to isolate and report your symptoms over the phone. Also, you must provide the test results to the federal or provincial government.
Stay safe, protect the ones around you, and enter Canada hassle-free by getting vaccinated before you go. If you’re planning to travel to Canada and aren’t on the list of exempted groups of international travelers, you will not be allowed to enter the country unless you’re vaccinated against COVID-19.
On the other hand, if you’re part of the eligible group of international students, diplomats, or temporary workers, you are allowed to enter Canada going through the 14-day quarantine and getting vaccinated after you complete it.
All in all, Canada is now open to travelers from many countries and we recommend getting vaccinated before traveling. This will not only make your stay easier but save you lots of money in the quarantine process.