Canada is set to open its border to fully vaccinated travellers despite rising COVID-19 case counts during the fourth wave.
The country will welcome international visitors with both shots starting September 7. This is the first time since before the pandemic that people from overseas will be able to enter Canada for non-essential reasons.
Visitors will be able to enter Canada via land or air borders as long as they’ve completed a pre-arrival COVID-19 test and submitted their documents via the ArriveCAN app.
Travellers won’t need to take another COVID-19 test when they enter Canada unless they’ve been randomly selected.
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The border relaxation comes as Canada faces a worsening fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. The country reported more than 4,000 new cases Friday, the highest number since June.
Some jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, have reinstated mandatory mask rules after temporarily lifting them in the summer.
But most new infections are in unvaccinated individuals, with breakthrough cases in fully immunized people being a minority. With vaccines providing good protection to those who choose to get the shot, health officials in Ontario have said growing case counts may not mean the same thing they did before.
In addition, four provinces are bringing in vaccine certificate programs in September to ensure people attending events and going to indoor public spaces are fully immunized. Quebec, Ontario, BC, and Manitoba will all require proof of vaccination to dine at restaurants, go to concerts, and work out in gyms by the end of the month.
Travellers will also need to show they’re immunized, and should be prepared to show photo ID and a certificate of immunization from their home country or province.
Children under 12 who are not old enough to be vaccinated are allowed to enter Canada with their fully immunized parent or guardian, but must follow certain rules during their first 14 days to guard against COVID-19 transmission.
Unvaccinated children should limit contact with other people, and must stay somewhere where they won’t come into contact with people age 65 or older, people who are immunocompromised, or people with underlying medical conditions.
Unvaccinated children must also wear masks when visiting public spaces.
In addition, parents should take children between age 5 and 12 for COVID-19 molecular testing and keep the negative test result on hand for 14 days to show local public health authorities.