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What residents of British Columbia need to know about Canada’s travel rules

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What you need to know about the entire recommended protocol.

British Columbians who want to cross the Canada-U.S. Border for quick shopping will soon be able to do so without paying for an expensive PCR test.

During a press briefing on Friday, November 19, federal officials announced that Canada remove the mandatory PCR test requirement for travelers who will be in the country for less than 72 hours, starting November 30.

But there are several things to consider before heading south.

Who does the new rule apply to?

The new rule applies to fully vaccinated persons with a “right of entry into Canada” who leave and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving the country. This exemption applies only to travel originating in Canada by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons registered under the Indian Act, who depart and return by land or air and can demonstrate that they have been outside of Canada for less than 72 years. hours.

The exemption will also apply:

  • people with medical contraindications as defined in decrees in council (DCI); and
  • unvaccinated children under 12 who are accompanying their parent, step-parent, guardian or guardian. The accompanying adult must be fully vaccinated (or have a contraindication) and have the right to enter Canada.

For fully vaccinated travelers traveling by air, the 72-hour period extends from the original scheduled departure time for their flight from Canada to the scheduled departure time for their return flight to Canada.

Travelers will be responsible for keeping proof of the 72 hour period to show airlines / railways and border officials as needed (e.g. boarding pass, travel itinerary).

Canada Expands List of Accepted Coronavirus Vaccines

Canada will allow travelers to enter the country who have received a full course from Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN vaccines.

Starting November 30, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travelers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac, and COVAXIN, corresponding to the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use List.

Currently, Canada only accepts travelers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD and Janssen / Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra noted that “all vaccines approved under the emergency use list must meet WHO standards for their quality and effectiveness.”

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveler must have received the full series of a coronavirus vaccine – or a combination of vaccines –accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days before entering Canada. Travelers can receive their vaccine in any country and must upload their proof of vaccination in English or French in ArriveCAN when traveling to Canada.

If proof of vaccination is not in English or French, travelers must provide a certified translation into English or French. Travelers must bring proof with them when traveling, including a text with vaccinations and dates received.

Entry requirements: Adjustments for certain travelers entering Canada

As of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travelers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:

  • Individuals traveling to reunite with their family (unless they are under the age of 18 if traveling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is either fully vaccinated, or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person registered under of the Indian Act.)
  • International students (18 years and over)
    • Fully immunized students will be permitted to attend any educational institution designated by the province or territory in Canada.
    • Unvaccinated students under the age of 18 must attend a designated educational institution that has a COVID-19 preparedness plan approved by the province or territory in which the school is located.
  • Professional athletes and their support staff, and amateur athletes.
  • Persons holding a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers, outside of agricultural and food processing.
  • Most essential service providers (including truck drivers, emergency service providers, and marine researchers).

As of November 30, travelers must be fully vaccinated to travel to Canada, with a few exceptions. There is a limited period, until January 14, 2022, during which persons belonging to specified exempt groups can continue to enter the country if they are not or partially vaccinated, as well as take a connecting flight. to their final destination scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the departure time of their flight into Canada. However, if they remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, they will not be allowed to travel by plane or train beyond their original connection, except to leave Canada before February 28, 2022.

Additionally, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers will only be permitted to enter Canada if they meet one of the limited exceptions, including:

  • agricultural and food processing workers;
  • foreign naval crew members;
  • those entering for humanitarian reasons;
  • new permanent residents;
  • newly resettled refugees;
  • children under the age of 18 who are currently exempt from travel restrictions, including international students studying at a designated educational institution that has a COVID-19 preparedness plan; those traveling with a parent, step-parent, guardian or guardian who is either fully vaccinated or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a person registered under the Indian Act; and those traveling to join immediate or extended Canadian family members in Canada; and
  • national interest exemptions.

Unless exempted, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers eligible to enter Canada will need to:

  • have proof of a negative pre-entry molecular test performed no more than 72 hours prior to the initially scheduled departure or arrival time of their flight at the land border, or a previous positive COVID-19 molecular test performed within 10 and 180 days before arrival;
  • complete tests on arrival (day 1) and after arrival (day 8);
  • quarantine for 14 days in an appropriate location; and
  • Submit all of the above information in ArriveCAN through the free mobile app or website.

Travel for children under 12

Unvaccinated children under 12 who travel with fully vaccinated adults do not need to self-quarantine but should follow public measures:

  • For 14 days after arrival, the child MUST NOT:
    • Go to school, camp or daycare.
    • Go to an environment where they may be in contact with vulnerable people (for example, a long-term care facility), including immunocompromised people, regardless of that person’s immunization status or public health measures.
    • Travel on crowded public transport that doesn’t guarantee physical distancing and masking.
    • Attend large, crowded spaces, indoors or outdoors, such as an amusement park or sporting event.
  • In addition, the child must undergo COVID-19 molecular tests according to the instructions, unless their parent, step-parent, guardian or guardian has proof that the child has tested positive for COVID-19 10 to 180 days. before arriving in Canada or the child is less than 5 years old.

Don’t have your Canadian vaccination passport yet?

British Columbians who wish to travel now have the option of downloading the new federal proof of vaccination, but there are a few things to consider before booking a flight.

On October 29, Canada a vaccination card has been made available to residents of British Columbia willing to travel in Canada and abroad.

Find out how you can get your federal proof of vaccination.

COVID-19 self-test kits for trips over 72 hours

There are several clinics in the Lower Mainland that you can visit to test negative for the coronavirus needed to travel.

COVID-19 testing for travel can cost up to C $ 150 per person, although prices vary. Find out more information on the process and some local businesses who provide the tests.

To perform tests in the comfort of your home, a Canadian company sells portable self-administered COVID-19 molecular and antigen test kits to avoid the hassle of visiting clinics. Find out more information about the company and its self-test process.