Canada Ends COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Makes ArriveCAN Optional

Canada has announced that all remaining Covid-19 restrictions, including vaccination requirements, will be lifted. The new entry regulations will become effective as of 1st October 2022. 

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From the beginning of October, travelers arriving in Canada will not be required to provide vaccination proof or meet any testing or quarantine requirements.

Alongside loosening the entry restrictions, the country decided to lift the mask mandate on planes and trains. Moreover, the ArriveCAN app will now be only optional.

Read on to familiarize yourself with new entry rules that travelers to Canada will need to follow since October 2022. 

Covid-19 situation in Canada and loosening restrictions

Federal Health Minister Duclos announced on Monday that the situation in Canada is now “in a much better position” than in the earlier pandemic stages, partially thanks to the availability of Covid-19 vaccines and advanced treatment. 

The country can pride itself on a high vaccination rate, with around 82% of the Canadian population having received a full regimen of the Covid-19 vaccine (two doses).

Additionally, the covid-related death rate has been showing a downward trend.

Earlier this year, the Canadian government relaxed the entry requirements so that fully vaccinated travelers no longer needed to submit a negative pre-departure coronavirus test, but using the ArriveCAN system was mandatory (under a penalty of a $5,000 fine).

Non-fully vaccinated travelers could only enter Canada for particular reasons and were required to take the Covid-19 test both prior to departure as well as post-arrival. Moreover, they had to undergo a 14-day quarantine. 
As stated by the Tourism Minister, Boissonnault, Canada now wants to open the country's economy “in a systematic and respectful way”.

Rules for entering Canada since October

Summary of changes for travelers arriving in Canada since October 2022: 

  • dropping Covid-19 vaccination proof, testing and quarantine requirements
  • optional using of the ArriveCAN system 
  • no need to monitor and report coronavirus symptoms after arrival in Canada
  • no mask mandate on planes and trains (but still recommendable)
  • no health checks for air and rail travelers

Important: The new changes also apply to cruise passengers who no longer need to take pre-embarkation testing, provide vaccination proof and register their data via the ArriveCAN system. 

eTA Canada

Despite of dropping covid-related requirements, travelers must still follow visa regulations to enter Canada

All travelers from visa-exempt countries should remember that although they can travel to Canada visa-free, they must obtain the Electronic Travel Authorization before arriving in the country. 

eTA enables numerous entries to Canada, while every stay can be as long as 6 months throughout a 5-year validity period. 

Currently, there are over 50 different nationalities eligible for the Canadian eTA. Eligible applicants should remember to apply for eTA at least 3 businessdays prior to the planned departure. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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