Dan Albas

COLUMN: Changes at the international border

Restrictions easing at Canada-U.S. border

As you may have heard, starting on July 5, restrictions were slightly eased when crossing the border into Canada.

Unfortunately this has led to some misunderstanding in certain circumstances.

For example, while some restrictions have been eased, the requirement for U.S. and other citizens coming to Canada for only essential reasons has not been relaxed or otherwise changed.

U.S. and other non-Canadian citizens coming to Canada for non-essential reasons will still be turned away at the border. This means that any potential tourists coming to vacation in Canada continues to be prohibited.

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So what has changed?

The most significant change is that for Canadian citizens eligible for entry into Canada, there is now a process to potentially not be subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine, including the mandatory hotel stop over for air travel where applicable.

As of July 5, an eligible citizen who has been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Canada may be eligible to bypass quarantine under certain conditions.

The conditions to bypass the quarantine include providing proof of your vaccination, you must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that has been taken within 72 hours of your entry into Canada.

Proof of vaccination can be provided online via the ArriveCANweb portal or through the ArriveCAN app that can be found on both the Google Play Store and the App Store for iPhone.

The definition of “fully vaccinated” is: “To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).”

For travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to the existing restrictions and quarantine requirements.

My question this week: Now that there is a Government of Canada app to provide proof of vaccination available for iOS, Android and online, how do you feel about that?

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.

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