Canada has new travel rules as the Omicron bans are implemented. Here’s what you need to know before heading to the airport or the border

After a one-month grace period that allowed negative COVID test results in lieu of vaccination test, unvaccinated travelers, for the most part, will no longer be able to board a passenger plane or train in Canada.

Transport Canada made the announcement in October and allowed travelers until November 29 to show a negative molecular test (PCR) taken within 72 hours of travel in lieu of the vaccination test.

The changes come on the same day that Ontario marks a dismal milestone by surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 deaths in the province. The national death toll is close to 30,000.

This is the latest on changes to COVID-19 travel measures.

What are the new travel rules?

Beginning November 30, all passengers over the age of 12 must present proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

If your child recently turned 12, there is a four-month exemption period after the 12th birthday in which they will not be required to get vaccinated or tested. Canada says this gives children enough time to be fully vaccinated.

The rules do not apply to commuter trains, including GO Transit and UP Express trains that operate with Metrolinx.

While all Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and individuals registered under Indian Law will still be able to enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, they will not be allowed to travel “beyond their point of entry within Canada. on a connecting flight or by rail “with limited exemptions. Some of these exemptions include travel from remote communities, medical reasons, and “sincere religious beliefs.”

Most travelers who qualify for an exemption will also need to have a negative molecular test (PCR) test performed within 72 hours of boarding.

the new requirements It went into effect on October 30, but the federal government gave travelers a month during which a negative molecular COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of boarding could be used in place of the test for vaccination.

While Canadian children between the ages of 5 and 11 can now be vaccinated, unvaccinated children 12 years and four months of age or younger are not required to show the results of a COVID-19 test to travel within the country or leave Canada. However, international destinations may have different regulations.

Other requirements such as wearing masks, having a valid passport, meeting health and pre-boarding control requirements are still in effect. Children under the age of six are not required to wear a mask.

False claims are a crime and may be subject to fines from Transport Canada.

No more negative COVID tests for Canadians on short trips

Also starting Tuesday, the federal government removed the testing requirements for Canadians taking short cross-border trips.

As of November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and individuals permitted to enter Canada will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter the country for trips of less than 72 hours.

The new rule does not apply to foreign nationals, international students, or foreign workers.

More Canadian Airports Allowed to Receive International Flights

Canada’s stricter travel vaccination measures also go into effect on the same day that Transport Canada is ease restrictions on international passenger flights.

The following airports can now resume receiving international flights:

St. John’s International; John C. Munro Hamilton International; Waterloo International Region; Regina International; Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International; Kelowna International; Abbotsford International; International Victory

The eight airports add to the 10 Canadian airports that can already receive international flights, including Halifax, Quebec, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver airports.

The latest in the new Omicron variant

The new measures take effect immediately after the recent discovery of the new Omicron variant in Canada.

As of Monday, Canada has identified five cases of Omicron: four in Ottawa and one in Quebec. Public health officials are still investigating two additional suspected cases in Hamilton.

Very little is known about the new variant first discovered in South Africa this month. Omicron has a large number of mutations and the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that it is more transmissible and has already become widely spread.

The discovery of the new variant quickly prompted global travel bans, and countries were quick to ban travel to and from countries in southern Africa. However, Omicron has already been discovered in places like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. In some cases like Belgium, travelers reported that they had no connection to southern Africa.

The WHO has criticized the travel bans, echoing the sentiments of many that South Africa and its neighboring countries are now being penalized for doing what the wider world community asked it to do to detect the new variant. The country is grappling with an ultra-rapid spread of the new highly communicable variant, especially among young people.

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