On Monday, Canada’s federal government announced it will drop all COVID-19 border-related travel restrictions on Oct. 1
Ministers of health and public safety, Jean-Yves Duclos and Marco Mendicino, respectively, announced pandemic measures, which were due to expire on Sept. 30, would not be renewed. Travelers entering the country will not be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, proof of COVID-19 testing, nor be required to quarantine and isolate upon arrival into the country.
ArriveCAN, an application that requires travelers to declare vaccination status prior to arrival, will also be optional along with an end to mask mandates and other safety measures for planes and trains. Safety measures on cruise ships will also be lifted. However, some guidelines will remain for passengers and crew, CTV News reported.
#BREAKING: The federal government has announced it is dropping all COVID-19 entry restrictions, including: proof of COVID-19 vaccination and quarantine requirements at the border.https://t.co/kMm64mvmVV
— CTV News (@CTVNews) September 26, 2022
Canadian officials are encouraging travelers to make “informed decisions” regarding masks. Travelers expressing COVID-19 symptoms are further encouraged not to travel though they will be required to follow local provincial or territorial requirements, the report noted.
“Over the past year business, tourism, and visitors have all returned to our shores in strong numbers and Canadians are traveling again,” said Mendicino in the announcement. “This is great news for the economy, for trade, for jobs, and for personal travel.”
“We’ve always maintained that the extraordinary measures we introduced at our borders and on airplanes, trains and boats were temporary and that we would adjust them as the situation changes. Today we’re doing just that,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “We’re taking another step to returning to the normal travel that connects families, workers, and our communities.”
“The Government of Canada will maintain the ability to re-establish certain border measures should they be required in the future to protect Canadians from the importation of new variants of concern or other emerging public health threats,” Duclos confirmed.
Last Tuesday, mayors and Canadian MPs reportedly sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Biden stating border-cities were struggling to recover and requested “unnecessary” COVID-19 restrictions be lifted. Trudeau reportedly expressed interest in ending COVID-19 measures for travel during a cabinet meeting last week, according to CTV.
“When COVID-19 was at its peak and border measures were effective at slowing transmission rates, we did our part to keep Canadians and Americans safe,” the letter reads, according to CBC. “Now, we have been left behind in the recovery effort as both countries have largely returned to normal daily life.”
In June, the United States announced an end to COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers following the end of mask-mandates for plane travel and other public transportation in April.
ArriveCAN was introduced in 2020 to assist Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) process travelers. Legal challenges were introduced against federal requirement of ArriveCAN by a constitutional rights group in August.