Feeling wanderlusty? You’re not alone, as — amid the easing of certain travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians — more and more Canadians appear to be considering resuming travel this spring.
While it is, of course, essential for Canadians considering any travel to stay on top of and abide by the current rules for domestic and international travel (you can find information on COVID-19 travel, testing and border details from the Government of Canada here), the outlook for Canadians looking to travel appears to be getting brighter. What’s driving this urge to travel? While there are many contributing factors, it’s likely that easing travel rules play a key role.
See also: My story: I travelled solo for the first time during the pandemic — here’s how it went.
What are some of the new rules for Canadian travellers?
Specifically, this week, a few changes to Canadian travel rules came into effect for fully-vaccinated travellers. Here are some of the highlights, as of Feb. 28, 2022.
Rapid antigen tests are now an option for pre-entry testing — when used correctly
According to the Government of Canada website, fully-vaccinated travellers five years of age or older who are looking to enter or return to Canada will have more options for pre-entry testing than they did previously.
Pre-entry testing can now include proof of an authorized, professionally administered or observed (i.e. by a pharmacy) antigen test taken no more than one day before your scheduled flight or entry to Canada. Prior to this change, you had to provide proof of a valid negative molecular test taken within 72 hours of your flight’s scheduled departure time.
While you still need to ensure you follow the rules and get an approved and professionally observed test, the ability to use an authorized rapid antigen test makes travelling into Canada more convenient and potentially cheaper (and antigen tests tend to be less expensive than molecular tests).
There are now some key changes to testing and quarantine measures on arrival
Measures have also changed to testing for fully-vaccinated travellers when they arrive in Canada. If you qualify as fully vaccinated and are arriving in Canada, from any country, being selected for arrival testing will be random. Additionally, if you are selected for testing, you will no longer be required to quarantine while you wait for the test’s result (children under 12 years of age who are travelling with fully-vaccinated adults will still be exempt from quarantine).
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While travelling during COVID-19 still holds more risks and rules than we faced in a pre-pandemic world, it appears that — if you want to explore beyond your backyard — it’s getting easier and more convenient to do so as we move forward.