Canada’s Travel Rules Have Been Updated Yet Again & Here Are The Changes You Need To Know

It seems as though the federal government is constantly updating Canada's travel rules, so we decided to put together a list of the newest changes to help make your life a little easier.

Although the new rules won't impact everyone, it's always good to stay up to date with them. Here are the answers to some questions you may have floating around in your head regarding the newest updates.

Has the list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines changed?

It will soon. Starting November 30, 2021, Canada will be expanding its list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines travellers can have received in order to be considered "fully vaccinated."

Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN are being added to Canada's list.

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) will continue to be considered eligible vaccines as well.

Is testing still required when travelling?

Fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada will no longer be required to show a pre-entry molecular (PCR) test if they take a trip outside the country that lasts 72 hours or less as of November 30, 2021.

So, travellers who leave and then re-enter Canada by land or air within three days won't have to take a PCR test before coming back to the country.

Luckily, this makes quick road trips across the border a little easier. For anyone who hopes to drive from Canada to the U.S. and back within 72 hours, no COVID-19 tests will be necessary since the United States does not require testing at its land borders.

However, if you're planning to fly to the U.S. from Canada, you'll still need a negative COVID-19 test, plus proof of full vaccination, to enter the States — no matter how long you plan on staying. Unlike Canada, the U.S. accepts antigen tests.

Have the rules for trips over 72 hours changed?

As of right now, no. The rules have not changed for those leaving Canada for longer than 72 hours.

If your trip outside of Canada lasts more than 72 hours, you must provide a negative pre-entry molecular (PCR) test taken in the 72 hours before arriving. Antigen tests are still not accepted.

Testing restrictions also have not loosened for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers.

What are the changes to exemptions?

The government recently announced that some travellers who were previously exempt from entry requirements will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to enter Canada as of January 15, 2022.

This includes international students aged 18 and over, professional and amateur athletes, individuals with valid work permits and essential service providers, including truck drivers.

It will also apply to "individuals travelling to reunite with family," although eligible unvaccinated children travelling for this reason will remain exempt.

What's happening with Canada's vaccine passport?

Vaccination against COVID-19 is becoming a requirement for both domestic and international travel in Canada starting November 30, 2021. This means a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to full vaccination.

So if you're hoping to go see your family in another province for Christmas, you'll have to be fully vaccinated.

This new rule won't apply to cases where an individual has a valid medical exemption.

Anyone hoping to take a trip within or outside of the country should look into downloading Canada's vaccine passport for travel, which is now available in all of the provinces and territories except Alberta.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

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