End of all health measures at borders and in transport
OTTAWA | Wearing a mask and proof of vaccination will no longer be mandatory for travel to Canada by plane or train as of Saturday. The federal government made the announcement yesterday, raising a wave of relief in the tourism industry and the taunts of the conservative opposition, which for months has been calling for the lifting of health restrictions which it believes are responsible for the delays in the airports. But after more than two years of the pandemic, even if all health measures at borders and in transport will be lifted, certain restrictions remain elsewhere.
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FINISH ArriveCan AND THE TESTS
Travelers will no longer have to show their vaccination status upon arrival or departure.
Entering this information in the ArriveCAN application will therefore become optional. The application will also allow travelers who so wish to complete their customs declaration in advance.
The mandatory random tests on arrival will also be scrapped on Saturday and it will no longer be required to pass a screening test before departure.
These important changes are explained by the fact that « the importation of cases of COVID and its variants no longer significantly influences the evolution of the pandemic in Canada », declared the federal Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos.
Globally, the number of deaths reported each week is steadily declining. It is now only 10% of what it was at the peak in January 2021.
Although no country requires it, Ottawa continues to “strongly recommend” wearing a mask on board transport, as the virus continues to circulate and give caregivers a hard time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited « those who believe the pandemic is over » to visit a hospital to see « the impact of people suffering from COVID-19 » on the system. Nearly 10% of hospitalizations are linked to cases of COVID-19, underlined the Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.
In this context, « the Government of Canada will maintain the capacity to reinstate certain border measures, in case they are necessary in the future », he warned.
But to avoid this, “the emphasis must be on up-to-date vaccination,” added Mr. Duclos.
ALWAYS FACE COVERED IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM
In Quebec, wearing a mask remains mandatory in hospitals, CHSLDs, CLSCs and any medical clinic where a doctor, nurse or licensed practical nurse practices. This also applies to dental practices.
MANDATORY VACCINES IN THE ARMY
Despite the lifting of federal health measures, the Canadian Armed Forces maintain mandatory vaccination for all its personnel, even though the federal public service lifted this obligation in the spring. However, soldiers are no longer required to wear a mask at all times. In this regard, they follow local and regional public health measures.
PROOF REQUIRED IN USA
The United States continues to require proof of full vaccination from foreign travelers. Those arriving by plane must present it before boarding, while those arriving by road or by boat must present it at the point of entry.
IT’S OVER IN EUROPE ALSO
European Union countries, such as France, Spain and Italy, have all lifted restrictions related to COVID-19. Arriving travelers therefore do not have to provide proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or negative test results.
COVID IN NUMBERS
As of September 25 in Quebec*
- 617 new casesfor a total of 1,196,758 people infected;
- 2 new deathsfor a total of 16,745 deaths, i.e.: 1 death occurred in the last 24 hours and 1 death occurred between two and seven days ago,
- 3,345 healthcare workers absent for reasons related to COVID (preventive withdrawal, isolation, awaiting results, etc.);
- 9,159 doses administered are added, for a total of 21,178,336 doses administered.
- 1567 (+1) hospitalizations, including 35 (-5) in intensive care
*Source: Government of Quebec