The government today announced a number of upcoming amendments to its current border and travel measures. Although we are still reviewing the amendments and will be seeking additional clarification from Transport Canada on several aspects of the measures, we offer the following guidance on a preliminary basis:
Effective November 30, 2021, the Government of Canada will expand its list of accepted vaccines for the purposes of entry into Canada and exemption from some testing and quarantine requirements. The revised list will include the Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN vaccines – thereby matching the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL).
To be considered fully vaccinated, travelers must have received the full series of an approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Travelers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must upload their proof of vaccination in English or French into ArriveCAN when travelling to Canada. If the proof of vaccination is not in English or French, a certified translation must be provided.
Requirements for Entering Canada
As of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travelers who are currently exempt from Canada’s entry requirements will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine. Although incoming crew members will continue to maintain their current exemption from the vaccination requirement, we are seeking confirmation from Transport Canada as to whether non-crew marine workers entering Canada will also continue to be exempt.
New ArriveCAN Requirements for Essential Travelers
As of November 30, 2021, essential service providers who are currently exempt from some or all of Canada’s entry requirements will be required to identify their vaccination status in ArriveCAN, regardless of whether or not they are allowed to enter as unvaccinated. This includes workers in the trade and transportation sector such as crew members, non-crew workers, and other individuals who regularly cross the border for work purposes. We will provide additional information on this requirement in the coming days.
Domestic and Outbound Travel
As of November 30, 2021, a valid COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination for domestic and outbound travel, unless a traveler qualifies for a limited exemption on specific grounds (medical reason, religious belief, emergency travel, or travel for national interest). Although it is our expectation that departing crew members will continue to exempt from the vaccination requirement under the “travel for national interest” criteria (and will therefore be able to submit a negative Covid test instead), we are seeking official confirmation of this from Transport Canada. We are also seeking confirmation as to whether the above exemption will apply to departing non-crew marine workers (which we believe to be less certain).
Transport Canada continues to work with the cruise ship industry, and other domestic and international partners, to permit the safe re-opening of Canada to cruise ship travel in spring 2022. Key issues on the agenda include specific vaccination requirements for cruise ship passengers and other health protocols. Additional information on these and other questions will be available in the coming weeks.
As previously noted, we have provided the above as a preliminary assessment of Canada’s new travel requirements, and will revert with more definitive information once we received additional clarification from Transport Canada.