Fully vaccinated travelers may enter Canada without submitting negative COVID-19 rapid test results starting April 1, Canada’s Public Health Agency announced on March 17.
Instead, foreign nationals will be required to upload proof of vaccination through ArriveCAN, and provide a receipt of completion upon arrival. Some fully vaccinated travelers may also undergo mandatory testing on arrival through the country’s randomized on-arrival testing surveillance program. Selected participants will not have to quarantine while waiting for results.
The Canadian government defines fully vaccinated as having received at least two doses of an approved vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or at least one dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
Unvaccinated foreign nationals are only permitted to enter under extenuating circumstances. Eligible unvaccinated travelers will still be required to submit approved negative COVID-19 rapid test results, quarantine for 14 days and take COVID-19 tests upon arrival and on the eighth day of their quarantine.
April will mark the latest easing of border restrictions since Canada announced fully vaccinated travelers could enter the country with negative COVID-19 rapid test results in late February.
The Canadian government cites the nation’s high vaccination rate, domestic availability of tests and treatments and a continued decrease in hospitalization rate as reasons for the shift in guidance.
“As vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity improve, we will continue to consider further easing of measures at the borders — and when to adjust those measures — to keep the people in Canada safe,” Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duelos said in a statement.
Canada’s decision comes as UB continues to revise its COVID-19 response playbook. The university lifted its on-campus mask requirements on March 5 after Gov. Kathy Hochul granted universities permission to decide when to end their mask requirements, in consultation with their local health department and the SUNY system.
Canada continues to be a popular destination for UB students and other Buffalo-area residents, with popular travel spots including Toronto and Niagara Falls.
UB has a 97.59% full vaccination rate among in-person students and a 0.66% 14-day rolling positivity rate.
Kyle Nguyen is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Nguyen is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum.