We at Sultan Lawyers have eagerly continued to assess the discussions surrounding Canada’s entry regulations, specifically as they relate to requirements for foreign nationals and Canadians entering and exiting the country. As representatives who support employees and employers in the employment-immigration legal processes, it is critical to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable of the constant changes imposed by the Government of Canada, especially as they relate to COVID-19.
We want to keep you informed!
For the duration of the Pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a multimodal approach to border management to prioritize and protect the health and safety of Canadians, and those living in Canada whether it be permanently or temporarily. As the situation surrounding COVID-19 has evolved, changes relevant to border measures have been made in accordance with most recent-found evidence, available data, operational considerations, and the epidemiological situation, both in Canada and internationally.
As of Monday September 26th 2022, the Government of Canada announced that all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements will be dropped for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022, this particularly focuses on unvaccinated foreign nationals.
The removal of border measures has been facilitated by various factors including; data that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the latest variant Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 fuelled wave, Canada’s increased vaccination rates, an understood decrease in hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, as well as the availability and use of vaccine boosters (including new bivalent formulation), rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19.
Navigating the COVID-19 Regulations
Canadians and foreign nationals have navigated varying border security mandates to combat COVID-19 for nearly two years.
This includes but is not limited to mandates such as:
- Providing proof of pre-arrival negative PCR molecular test
- Randomized and mandatory PCR testing upon arrival
- 3-day quarantines
- 14-day quarantines
- Registering travel details and proof of vaccine through the ArriveCan App
- Mask mandates in airports as well as on the airlines
These mandates have not only been accompanied by moral responsibility, but also economic responsibility. For months individuals have been accountable to pay out of pocket for additional COVID-19 tests, and hotel accommodations in certain circumstances simply to comply with the country’s ever-changing “public safety” measures.
What Exactly Has Changed?
As of Monday September 26th, 2022 the Public Health Agency of Canada released a statement confirming that the regulations set to expire on September 30th 2022, will cease on that day and not be subject to an extension as we have seen in the past.
Here is a list of the regulations that are dropping in Canada:
Specifically, as of October 1, 2022 all travellers (regardless of citizenship) coming to Canada will no longer have to:
- Submit public health information through the notorious ArriveCan app,
- The app required all travellers, regardless of how long they were away from Canada, to submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan prior to arriving in Canada (whether you are arriving via air, sea or land)
- Provide proof of vaccination
- While there were very narrow exemptions, the previous mandate prohibited non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals’ entry into Canada
- Undergo COVID-19 testing, mandatory quarantine or isolation
- Previously for trips out of the country longer than 72 hours, all travellers eligible to enter Canada were required to complete the mandatory pre-entry molecular COVID-19 test. Antigen tests are not accepted
- Unvaccinated Canadians were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, that included conducting mandatory testing during the quarantine period
- Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving in Canada
- Undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or wear masks on planes and trains
- Have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN on cruise ships
If you are required to travel and are unsure of your responsibilities as a traveller, the Government of Canada has provided tips by destination, or alternatively if you are entering Canada, we encourage you to contact us at Sultan Lawyers to ensure you are prepared and can ensure a smooth trip navigating Canada’s border measures. For further information and assistance, please contact the Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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