For the first time since March of 2020, the Government of Canada has lifted its advisory against non-essential international travel.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 19 months ago, a notice on the federal government’s website advised Canadians to avoid taking non-essential trips abroad.
It has now been replaced with a statement that recommends travellers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least 14 days before embarking on an international trip.
“Be aware that although you are better protected against serious illness if you are vaccinated, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19,” the new notice reads.
“If you’re unvaccinated, you remain at increased risk of being infected with and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally. You should continue avoiding non-essential travel to all destinations.”
Although the federal government is no longer advising against international travel, it is still recommending that Canadians avoid cruise ship travel outside of the country.
The updated notice urges travellers to stay informed on the COVID-19 situation in their destination country, follow local public health measures while abroad, and stay up-to-date on the requirements to re-enter Canada.
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The change comes as the federal government introduced a COVID-19 vaccine passport for both domestic and international travel.
As of October 30, all Canadians aged 12 and over will be required to show proof of vaccination to travel on federally regulated flights, trains, and marine vessels.
There will be a grace period until November 30 to allow for travellers to get fully vaccinated. During that time, those who are partially immunized can show a negative molecular test.