Canada will be easing restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers beginning next month as the peak in new cases fueled by the COVID-19 omicron variant is believed to have passed.
Beginning on Feb. 28, fully vaccinated travelers arriving into Canada will be allowed to use a rapid antigen test instead of a molecular test. Vaccinated travelers will also now be randomly selected for testing upon arrival and will not be required to quarantine while they wait for their results.
All unvaccinated travelers will still be required to submit for COVID-19 testing upon arrival and on their eighth day in the country, and they will also be required to quarantine for 14 days.
The Canadian government will also be dropping its Travel Health Notice from a Level 3 to a Level 2, meaning Canadians will no longer be advised against traveling for nonessential purposes.
“For two years now, our government’s actions in the fight against COVID-19 have been based on prudence and science. Today’s announcements are a reflection of the progress we have made against this current Omicron variant,” Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.
“The return to mandatory random testing of all vaccinated travellers will facilitate travel for Canadians all while helping our public health authorities to detect future changes in COVID-19 importation rates and variants of concern,” said Duclos. “As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, for potential future scenarios.”
According to the Canadian government, nearly 80 percent of the country’s total population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.