Canada drops two week masking requirement on entry for fully vaccinated travellers; Vaccination requirement to enter U.S. extended

Courier file photo The Milltown border entry point in St. Stephen. The Canadian federal government announced last week as of Monday, April 25, it would drop the requirement to remain masked for the first two weeks travellers are in the country.

ST. STEPHEN – “It is long overdue,” says N.B. Southwest MP John Williamson on the recent change to the masking policy in place by the federal government. “Very few people were following the guideline, including the Prime Minister who did not wear a mask in public or the House of Commons after he returned from an international trip,” Williamson added.

In a news release issued Friday, April 22, the Canadian federal government announced changes to its previous border measures. As of Monday, April 25, fully-vaccinated Canadians who re-enter the country will no longer be required to wear a mask for two weeks on return, nor will they have to maintain a list of locations they’ve visited or close contacts.

In addition, unvaccinated/partially vaccinated children aged five to 11 will no longer be required to have a pre-entry COVID-19 test to enter Canada, providing they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.

Pre-entry COVID-19 tests remain a requirement for unvaccinated/partially vaccinated travellers who are 12 and older. Children under the age of five are not required to provide a COVID-19 test.

Fully vaccinated travellers will also no longer need to provide a quarantine plan on entry into Canada.

All travellers remain obligated to register their travel into Canada via ArriveCAN on your mobile device or computer within 72 hours of coming into the country.

“It is also past time the federal government removed its other travel restrictions on Canadians, starting with ArriveCAN. Canadians should not be forced to register with the federal government as a condition to returning home,” said Williamson.

If you are fully vaccinated and do not register with ArriveCAN, you may have to submit a pre-entry test result and quarantine plan, face additional delays at the border, and may be subject to fines or other enforcement action.

Masks remain mandatory when at Canadian border points of entry.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a news release Thursday, April 21 it would be extending the existing requirement for all non-U.S. citizens at the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country by land or ferry ports.

The release states the protocol has been extended based on consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “and several other federal agencies.”

The requirement does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and U.S. nationals.

DHS states it will continue to monitor the situation and may “amend or rescind” current protocols at any time.

Requirement for entry by air remain unchanged.