After days of speculation and rumor, the Government of Canada announced it will change its entry requirements.
Last week, two senior government sources, who remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak officially, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to let a cabinet order requiring travelers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before they enter Canada to lapse, according to CPC24. The order, known as COVID-19 Emergency Order-in-Council relating to border measures, expires on September 30.
Days later, the government officially announced the change.
Other Changes To Note
Although Canada requires foreign nationals to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the country, exceptions are made for various reasons, including compassionate exceptions, such as “to be present during the final moments of a loved one’s life.” Those travelers currently must take mandatory COVID-19 tests at arrival and then complete a 14-day quarantine.
Even fully vaccinated international travelers are subject to random COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Canada.
However, when the cabinet order expires, it will also end the COVID-19 border testing requirement.
While Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault would not confirm or deny Trudeau’s decision to let the order expire when news of the changes first broke, he did say that if the order expires, it will eliminate the only mandatory requirement used in the ArriveCan app, according to CPC24.
ArriveCan was originally introduced by the Government of Canada as a way for all travelers to provide information about their COVID-19 vaccination status as well as proof of negative pre-departure test results to the Canada Border Services Agency. Since then, it has become a tool for travelers to digitally complete customs and immigration forms, so it’s unlikely the app or web portal will be discontinued.
Finally, the Government of Canada’s mandatory requirement for travelers to wear face masks while on planes and trains will also be lifted beginning October 1.
You can learn more about all the requirements to enter Canada beginning October 1 here.
Good News For Sports Fans As Well
Unvaccinated Major League Baseball players are currently placed on their team’s restricted list while their teams play games in Canada. Interestingly, they are not paid and do not accrue major league service time for those games, per an agreement made between Major League Baseball and the players’ association last March.
However, when Canada lifts its COVID-19 vaccination requirement, the move will allow unvaccinated MLB team members to play games in Toronto if the Blue Jays advance to the playoffs, according to ESPN.
Meanwhile, in the NBA, “teams were informed via a memo last month that players still need to have either received a primary course of a COVID-19 vaccine, or been given a medical clearance from getting one, in order to play games in Canada,” ESPN continues. “But that would no longer be necessary once the restrictions are lifted.”
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