Canada will be dropping all COVID-19-related travel restrictions on October 1, according to officials.
For most of a year, Canada has required masks on airplanes, COVID screenings of travelers, and pre-registration of health information on their wildly unpopular ArriveCan app. But in a Monday press conference, officials announced that was all over. No more required masks, vaccinations, or information.
“We’ve always maintained that the extraordinary measures that we’ve placed at our borders and on airplanes, trains and boats were temporary and that we would adjust them as situation changes,” Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. “Today we’re doing just that.”
Even cruise passengers, statistically the most likely demographic to bring any disease across a border, won’t be required to show proof of vaccination or negative tests, though the cruise companies may have their own requirements.
This easing of restrictions has been a long, slow process for Canada since they reopened borders to U.S. tourists (vaccinated only) in August 2021. In April, they stopped requiring vaccinated travelers to test before arrival, and then later lifted the testing requirement for unvaccinated children under 11 as well.
This makes Canada’s rules more relaxed than the United States for the first time, as the United States are still requiring international travelers to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (with a booster if the vaccine is more than 3 months old) before boarding flights into the country.
“The removal of border measures has been facilitated by a number of factors, including modeling that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 fueled wave, Canada’s high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, as well as the availability and use of vaccine boosters (including new bivalent formulation), rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19,” reads the official government statement.