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Travel restrictions easing for fully vaccinated Canadians in early July

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-22 05:10
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FILE PHOTO: Air Canada planes are parked at Toronto Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada April 28, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA - The Canadian government announced on Monday that "fully vaccinated" Canadians and permanent residents can enter Canada without undergoing quarantine starting from July 5.

The announcement comes as more than 75 percent of eligible Canadians have received one dose of vaccine and more than 20 percent have received two doses of vaccine.

"Fully vaccinated" means having taken a full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines that have been authorized by Health Canada - Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson - at least 14 days prior to entering the country. The vaccinations do not have to be administered in Canada, according to the announcement.

The Canadian government requires all travellers - whether arriving by land or air - to now disclose vaccination information at the border including vaccination status and the timing and brand of vaccine received.

They must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the Canadian government's ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements.

Entering fraudulent information into the app will result in fines of up to 750,000 Canadian dollars (about 607,000 U.S. dollars) or six months in prison.

If approved, those accepted travellers will not have to quarantine. Those arriving by air will also not be forced to stay at a government-authorized hotel and non-vaccinated children or dependent adults travelling with them will also be exempt from the hotel stay.

If a fully vaccinated traveller tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to follow local public health guidance and quarantine requirements.

Children who aren't vaccinated will be able to go home with their parents but must quarantine for two weeks.

There are no changes to border restrictions for travellers who are not fully vaccinated. Those who land by air will still have to stay in hotel quarantine for up to three days pending a negative arrival test, quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14-day period and take a test on day eight of their self-isolation period.

"As we've told Canadians all along, easing measures at the border will happen as we see our communities increasingly become safe," said Health Minister Patty Hajdu at a press conference on Monday.

"This is the first phase of our precautionary approach to easing Canada's border measures. At this time we are not opening up our borders any further," Dominic LeBlanc, Canadian minister of intergovernmental affairs, said at the press conference on Monday.

The government also announced Monday that international commercial flights will continue to be funnelled through the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

The government also "strongly" advises that Canadians avoid non-essential travel outside of the country.

As of Monday afternoon, Canada reported 434 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total to 1,409,269 cases, including 26,080 deaths, according to CTV.

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