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Canada's Border Rules Have Just Changed — This Is What To Expect

If you were abiding by the recommendation against non-essential travel, your vacation plans are back on!

Canadian border crossing welcome sign.

Canadian border crossing welcome sign.

Pack your bags and dig out your passport! Following what seems to have been the worst of the Omicron variant, and just as Quebec relaxes more public health measures, the federal government eased travel restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. on February 28. Here's what to expect from Canada's border rules.

"Recent data indicates that the latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant has passed its peak in Canada," the Canadian government said in a news release. "As provinces and territories adjust their public health measures, and as we transition away from the crisis phase, it is now time to move towards a more sustainable approach to long-term management of COVID-19."

The government's Travel Health Notice has been lowered from a Level 3 to a Level 2 — meaning that the recommendation against non-essential travel has been lifted. But that doesn't mean that everything is going right back to normal.

Fully vaccinated travellers coming into Canada can expect random COVID-19 screening tests upon arrival. If you do get randomly selected, though, you won't have to quarantine while waiting for your test results. Kids under 12 years old also don't need to quarantine provided they're travelling with fully vaccinated adults.

Unvaccinated Canadians re-entering the country still need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and again one week later, and must quarantine for two weeks.

To meet the pre-entry requirements, travellers can now opt to use the results of a rapid antigen test taken the day before entering the country or a molecular test taken a maximum of three days before arrival. At-home test results are still not accepted.

Starting at 4 p.m. EST, international passenger flights will be allowed to land in any Canadian airport that is equipped for international travel.

Caution is still recommended while travelling since Omicron continues to be an issue both in Canada and internationally.

According to the government, more relaxed travel restrictions are now possible thanks to lowering hospitalization rates, the availability of rapid tests and the country's high vaccination rates, among other factors.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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