Canada to lift all COVID-19 restrictions for travelers entering the country

(NEW YORK) — Canada is lifting all of its COVID-19-related entry restrictions, effective Saturday, government officials announced.

Travelers, regardless if they’re Canadian citizens or not, will no longer have to submit public health information through an application the government launched for travelers before or after they enter the country, provide proof of vaccination, go through pre- or on-arrival testing, quarantine or isolate, or monitor and report if they’ve developed COVID-19 symptoms when arriving in Canada, the country’s public health agency said.

Additionally, the Canadian government said travelers will no longer be required to wear masks on planes and trains, adding that it strongly recommends people “wear high-quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.”

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Canada and the U.S. closed their respective borders to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a layered approach to border management to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” the health agency said Monday in a press release. “As the pandemic situation has continued to evolve, adjustments to border measures have been informed by the latest evidence, available data, operational considerations and the epidemiological situation, both in Canada and internationally.”

“Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border,” Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said. “However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses, and exercise individual public health measures.”

In June, the U.S. lifted its COVID-19 restrictions for international travelers, including no longer requiring a negative COVID-19 test one day before their flight into the country.

“We are able to take this step because of the tremendous progress we’ve made in our fight against the virus,” a senior White House official told ABC News at the time. “We have made lifesaving vaccines and treatments widely available and these tools are working to prevent serious illness and death, and are effective against the prevalent variants circulating in the U.S. and around the world.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.