Covid-19 travel rules in Canada - all recent changes

Canada started to reopen in the summer of 2021 after being closed for about a year and a half because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

At the moment, foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated may be permitted to enter Canada for non-essential travel. This applies to everyone, regardless of the country they are traveling from.

What is about to change?

The Government of Canada announced substantial modifications to its travel laws and border controls on November 19, 2021.

Specific categories of foreign people will not be allowed to enter Canada after January 15, 2022 unless they have been completely vaccinated with one of the vaccinations on an authorized list.

Various types of foreign nationals are allowed to come to Canada without being completely immunized under existing travel laws. These unvaccinated people are subject to quarantine laws when they arrive in Canada, but they are not barred from traveling.

The following categories of foreign nationals will need to be completely vaccinated for travel to Canada starting January 15, 2021:

  • Outside of agriculture and food processing, those with a valid work visa, including temporary foreign employees
  • Most important service providers (including truck drivers, emergency service providers, and marine researchers)
  • People traveling to reunite with family (unless they are under the age of 18 and are reuniting with an immediate or extended family member who is either fully vaccinated or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act)
  • International students (18 years and over) and professional athletes and their support staff, as well as athletes.

In addition to these changes, fully vaccinated Canadians and Permanent Residents who go outside of Canada for less than 72 hours would no longer be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to Canada after November 30, 2021.

This exception applies to the following:

  • Fully vaccinated passengers who exit and re-enter Canada by land or air
  • Fully vaccinated tourists who have been absent from Canada for less than 72 hours.