The Canadian government announced Monday that as of Oct. 1, COVID-19 border and travel measures will be removed for plane, train and cruise travel.
All travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:
Undergo health checks for travel on air and rail
Wear masks on planes and trains
Submit health information through the ArriveCAN app or website
Provide proof of vaccination
Go through pre- or on-arrival COVID-19 testing
Stay in COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation
Monitor and report signs or symptoms of COVID-19 that develop upon arriving to Canada
Cruise travellers will no longer need to be vaccinated, they will not have any pre-boarding COVID-19 testing and will not need to use ArriveCAN.
Travellers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to Oct. 1 will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine or testing requirements.
As of October 1, air and rail travellers will no longer be required to wear a mask, but will be strongly encouraged to do so. https://t.co/KcpYcz0M9c
— Transport Canada (@Transport_gc) September 26, 2022
The federal government is still "strongly" recommending that travellers wear a high quality and well-fitted mask during travel. Travellers can also continue to use the optional Advance Declaration feature in ArriveCAN, "to save time at the airport by submitting their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival."
Individuals should not travel if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and if any traveller becomes sick while on their journey, they should inform a flight attendant, cruise staff, or a border services officer upon arrival.
The Evaluating Canada’s Pandemic Border and Travel Policies: Lessons Learned report will be critical in alerting key officials to clear evidence that post-pandemic border measures are no longer effective tools for pandemic management https://t.co/geBCuwLTgW
— Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable (@timetotravelca) September 23, 2022
On Friday, a report prepared for the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (CTTR) was released, co-authored by four Canadian doctors that specialize in infectious diseases, emergency medicine and pandemic management. The report was in support of loosening travel restrictions.
"The continued imposition of travel measures at Canada's border is costly, illogical, and inconsistent at this point," a statement from Dr. Dominik Mertz, associate professor, Division Director Infectious Diseases at McMaster University reads.
While Canadians are free to attend concerts, sports games, and many other daily activities, the travel industry continued to be singled out without any scientific basis. In retrospect, these measures could have been stopped along with similar changes in policy in the community across Canada.Dr. Dominik Mertz, Division Director Infectious Diseases, McMaster University
"There is a clear discrepancy in the measures that have been applied to international travel and tourism, especially when compared to the measures applied to other modes of transportation, such as public transportation, and to public health measures in the community in general," a statement from Dr. David Carr, associate professor, Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto and Emergency Physician at the University Health Network reads.
"Based on current data and evidence, it is time for a complete overhaul of the Canadian government's approach to the testing and surveillance of air travel passengers. Canada must start aligning its policies with those of peer countries."
Several Canadians, including health experts and travel industry groups, have taken to social media to comment on the upcoming changes to COVID-19-related travel rules.
As of October 1, all measures at the border will be dropped, including the mandates for masks.
I would still encourage folks to stay up to date with vaccines and consider masking based on individual risk.
But this aligns with society. Good. https://t.co/7SZbFK5MeE
— Zain Chagla (@zchagla) September 26, 2022
We applaud @OmarAlghabra @jyduclos for lifting all CoV-19 restrictions Oct. 1, including mask mandates, proof of vaccination, and the mandatory use of ArriveCAN. Travel agencies & independent travel advisors can finally build back, and all people can experience the joy of travel. pic.twitter.com/i8n1dO1zSs
— Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (@ACTACanada) September 26, 2022
Some travellers have expressed concerns about the removal of the masking measure in particular.
Today we're announcing a change to the science, effective October 1st.
Proof of vaccine, masks, and the wildly popular #ArriveCAN app will no longer be required to fly in Canada.
Please continue to observe the current science until the new science comes into effect. pic.twitter.com/dRa2UKtdGQ
— Justin Trudeau's Ego (@Trudeaus_Ego) September 26, 2022
I’m so angry and sad about this – my Mom is flying to visit our kids for the first time in almost 4 years, we specifically booked air Canada because of the masking. She’ll wear a mask, but others…
— Janine (@JanAdelaide) September 26, 2022
Yup, this summer I booked Air Canada specifically because of the mask policy. So disappointed that the feds are abandoning us, too
— That’s Dr. Truthisjustice, to you. (@truthisjustice2) September 26, 2022
Wow. Really awful. The mask rule on my @AirCanada flights was the only reason I could visit family members undergoing cancer treatment in the summer. Of course I also tested before seeing them, but a maskless flight would have made it too risky. @AirCanada, please keep the masks!
— CaliforniaHeartBavariaHome🕯🕯🕯🕯🕯 (@lgoshen) September 26, 2022
Hugely disappointing. Masking enforcement on Air Canada has been pretty good and it gave me the confidence to fly for work and vacation. https://t.co/92JRC4Vk04
— CherylMcKinnon (@CherylMcKinnon) September 26, 2022