Canada’s travel restrictions are getting tougher and here’s what you need to know

The latest update to Canada’s travel restrictions will make it much more difficult for unvaccinated people to enter the country.

As of January 15, 2022, the federal government will cancel a number of entry exemptions for travelers who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This includes most adults traveling to reunite with family, international students aged 18 or over, professional athletes and their support staff, amateur athletes, temporary foreign workers and essential service providers, as well as a few others.

As of Saturday, the groups listed will only be allowed to enter Canada if they can prove that they have been fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.

Previously, these groups were not required to present a vaccination certificate to enter Canada. After an announcement in November, they were urged to get a full course of vaccinations before January 15.

Some exemptions remain in effect for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers, including travelers entering Canada out of compassion, new permanent residents, newly resettled refugees, and children under the age of 18.

Most exempt persons must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, complete Day 1 and Day 8 tests, quarantine for 14 days and submit their information through ArriveCAN.

On January 13, federal government officials refuted reports that Canadian truck drivers and other essential workers would remain vaccinated.

“Let’s be clear: this has not changed,” Transport Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement. “The information shared yesterday was incorrectly provided.”

However, he explained that “a Canadian truck driver who has not been fully vaccinated cannot be denied entry to Canada, [as] Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act and permanent residents may enter Canada by operation of law.”

While these groups cannot be denied entry, Duclos noted that they must meet all other requirements, including COVID-19 testing and quarantine measures.

In contrast, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign truck drivers “are sent back to the United States.”

The cover image of this article is used for illustrative purposes only.

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