The Canadian government has announced new benefits for travelers who are immunized against COVID-19

By Pierina D’Amico

If you want to travel to Canada and have been vaccinated against COVID-19, there is good news for you! As of February 28, those who present the complete vaccination schedule will be able to avoid several of the pandemic measures imposed at the Canadian border.

For starters, testing on arrival will be random for this group of people, no matter what country they come from. What’s even better, these travelers won’t have to quarantine while they wait for their test results.

In addition, those who are fully immunized may choose to take a rapid antigen test (not self-test) one day before their flight or arrival in Canada by land or sea, instead of a molecular test within 72 hours before their flight or arrival in Canada by land or sea. This represents an advantage because rapid tests are generally less expensive and their results are available in less time than molecular tests.

Another novelty is that children under the age of 12 traveling with vaccinated adults will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada. This will make it easier to start activities such as going to daycare, school, or camping.

The benefits of being exempt from these requirements are several. First, they allow travelers to settle in Canada more comfortably. On the other hand, they reduce the economic cost before and after arrival in the country, since these people will be able to access cheaper tests and will not have to worry about finding a place to isolate themselves with their basic needs met. This, of course, also translates into less stress for newcomers.

The new measures are due to the fact that the constant monitoring of COVID-19 cases has shown that the peak of infections due to the Omicron variant of the virus has been left behind. According to the official statement from the Government of Canada, “The country’s ability to transition to a new phase at the border is the result of the actions of tens of millions of residents across the country who followed public health measures, including their vaccination and that of their families.”

Finally, it is important to understand what it means to be “fully vaccinated” according to Canadian authorities. To qualify under this description, you must have a full schedule of government-accepted immunizations, and have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to arrival in Canada.

The vaccines accepted at the moment are the following and can be combined with each other:

• AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)

• Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)

• Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

• Moderna (mRNA-1273)

• Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, Tozinameran, BNT162b2)

• Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)

• Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

For more information, you can check the links to the official pages of the Government of Canada below.


Government of Canada lightens border measures as part of transition of the pandemic response, Government of Canada, February 15, 2022

Ottawa dropping pre-arrival PCR test for travellers as of Feb. 28, CBC, Feb. 15, 2022

COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada, Government of Canada, February 17, 2022

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