Feds ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international travellers

travel

The federal government has added fully vaccinated foreign nationals to the ranks of travellers who are once again welcome on Canadian soil.

As of midnight Monday night, quarantine requirements were eased for non-essential international travellers who have had a full course of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

To be eligible, travellers must have allowed at least 14 days to pass since their last vaccine shot and show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that's no more than 72 hours old.

They are also required to use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details.

Denis Vinette, vice-president of the travellers branch of the Canada Border Services Agency, says the latest wave of vaccinated visitors is arriving primarily by air.

Vinette says that simplifies matters for the agency, since airlines will be screening travellers to ensure they meet the criteria.

"The great thing in air is that you've got the airline working with you, who will not allow individuals to get on if they're not meeting all of the requirements," Vinette said in an interview. "The land border is a different beast."

Canada has approved four COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, also known as Covishield, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson option.

Vinette said the agency will continue to conduct random tests of travellers at the border, a surveillance program that has been in place since the phased-in process of easing travel restrictions began earlier this summer.

-- with files from CTV News and The Canadian Press --