Travellers have to provide a negative PCR COVID test upon arrival to the border, and quarantine while they wait for the result. Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Exempt travellers who are fully vaccinated will be subject to relaxed quarantine rules upon arriving in Canada, according to local reports. Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu said travellers who are already exempt from travel restrictions will not have to quarantine for the full 14 days if they have received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of arrival, reported CIC News.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), international students can currently enter Canada if they have a valid study permit and are attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory. Here’s what international students should know:

Travellers to Canada would still need to quarantine


Being fully vaccinated could mean shorter quarantine periods. Source: Apu Gomes/AFP

Travellers entering Canada would still be tested for COVID-19. They have to provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID test upon arrival at the border and quarantine while they wait for the result. They could be released in as little as one day provided the test result is negative, said the report. 

Only vaccines that have been approved in Canada will be accepted. Currently, Canada has approved four vaccines: AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna. Hajdu added that Health Canada will be assessing other vaccines in the future. There is no firm date for when these measures would go into place, but Hadju suggested it could happen “early July” if case counts continue to decline. The federal government is still consulting with the provincial governments and departments of public safety and immigration.

Government officials have hinted that border restrictions could ease toward the end of June or July. Previously, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government was looking at a phased-in approach to reopening the Canadian border, starting with fully vaccinated travellers.

To decide what the phased-in approach will look like, Trudeau said the government will take into account metrics such as international case numbers and global vaccination rates. One possible scenario is the first phase would allow vaccinated travellers to avoid quarantine if they provide a negative COVID-19 test.

Travel restrictions and the mandatory quarantine rules have been in place since Canada went into lockdown in March last year. The government notes that as of April 22, Canada is suspending flights from India and Pakistan, adding that travel restrictions may change with little warning. The government is also extending the requirement for air passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada, via an indirect route, to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.