Travellers at Toronto Pearson react to relaxed travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians
Returning home to Canada is now a little easier -- if you are fully vaccinated.
Starting today, Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated can enter the country without observing a 14-day quarantine or staying in a COVID-19 hotel.
Canadian Julia Dunn arrived at Pearson Airport on Monday from her home in Houston and is travelling to see her parents in Cape Breton, NS.
"It feels very freeing being able to get home to the family, without having to spend those two weeks alone," Dunn said.
Wasif Khan said he travels to and from the U.S .frequently for work and that being able to skip the stay in a quarantine hotel "feels amazing.”
“$1,000…you save a lot,” he said.
In order to skip quarantine, travellers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test that is fewer than three days old. They must complete a COVID-19 test on arrival and they must provide proof of vaccination.
Vaccination proof can be entered into the ArriveCAN app or the online portal before travel.
Eunha Shim said she has been waiting for this day in order to come home from South Korea and see her parents. "I checked the news everyday, to see when it's going to be removed. So I was very happy to see that,” she said.
In the departures section, Jenna Doucette says the relaxation of the rules has affected her plans to see her boyfriend in California. "I waited until now," she said. "I wanted to see if it would open up. So like, be less restrictive."
While fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents enjoy the less restrictive travel requirements, those who have not yet received their second shot must continue to abide by them.
Metha Kedia returned from her graduation from Harvard Business School Monday, but still has to complete a mandatory hotel stay followed by a 14-day quarantine because she is not fully vaccinated.
She says, "Actually I don't mind it, it's fair I think," while standing in the taxi line waiting to be taken to a quarantine hotel.
And although getting back home is becoming easier, it can still be difficult to leave.
Fully vaccinated travellers Matt Sobhy and Jenae Porter are headed to Iceland, which requires vaccination proof only, but they said they missed their first flight to the Newark, NJ because the U.S. requires a negative PCR test upon entry.
Sobhy says, "we're going to get a test downstairs and then hope we'll catch the next flight."
Hoping, like to many, to get their plans moving forward.