Canada Ends All Pandemic Travel Restrictions

Canada Ends All Pandemic Travel Restrictions

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Staring in a few days, travel in Canada will look a lot like it did pre-pandemic.

Canada changes travel rules as of October 1, 2022

The Canadian government has today announced that pandemic related travel restrictions will be ending as of October 1, 2022. This means:

  • Masks will no longer be required on flights
  • Vaccination will no longer be required for air travel in Canada
  • The ArriveCAN app for international travelers will be made optional
  • There will no longer be health checks or random testing when arriving internationally in Canada
  • Unvaccinated Canadians will no longer be required to isolate when they return to the country

For all practical purposes, travel to, from, and within Canada will look mighty similar to how it did pre-pandemic. Government officials explained that this change was made “based on the data accumulated over the last few weeks and months.”

It’s worth noting, though, that the government has the ability to reintroduce these measures if needed. However, I imagine there would be a lot more pushback from the public if restrictions like this were brought back.

Canada is lifting pandemic travel restrictions

My take on Canada lifting travel restrictions

On balance I think Canada did a great job handling the pandemic, and the country took it a lot more seriously than the United States. That’s great, though at some point it makes sense to enter the “live with the virus” stage, as we’ve seen so many countries do.

The countries that were initially most conservative, like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, have lifted virtually all travel restrictions. So it’s nice to see Canada do the same. For those who still choose to wear masks, fortunately there are quality masks out there that provide a high level of personal protection.

I do find the timing of Canada lifting travel restrictions to be interesting, though. Canada had a pretty mild summer when it came to coronavirus cases, yet all those restrictions remained in place. We’re now headed into the fall and winter, where we’ll likely see an uptick in cases, especially in cold climates, like Canada.

So I do find it a bit strange that all these restrictions are being lifted right now, a few days into fall, rather than during a time of year that’s inherently lower risk.

Admittedly politically there’s also a desire to declare “victory” against a pandemic (in virtually all countries, regardless of political party), and lifting of restrictions is a big part of that in terms of public sentiment.

The timing of this policy change seems strange

Bottom line

Canada will be lifting all coronavirus travel restrictions as of October 1, 2022, which marks the end of the mask mandate, vaccine requirement, and more. This puts Canada more in line with many of the other countries that initially took strong measures around the start of the pandemic.

What do you make of Canada lifting its travel restrictions?

Conversations (42)
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  1. Alan Gold

    I'm dumbfounded as to the number of comments here referring to mask wearing and protection. Numerous studies have compared areas that mandated masks, including N95s, to those without and there is essentially zero difference. My surgeon wife always wore an N95 yet still got covid. If you want to wear a mask, feel free, it's your choice but don't pretend you are protected

    As for positive comments as to vaccine mandates, you really need...

    I'm dumbfounded as to the number of comments here referring to mask wearing and protection. Numerous studies have compared areas that mandated masks, including N95s, to those without and there is essentially zero difference. My surgeon wife always wore an N95 yet still got covid. If you want to wear a mask, feel free, it's your choice but don't pretend you are protected

    As for positive comments as to vaccine mandates, you really need to look at the data. You might as well give birth control pills to men to ensure they do not get pregnant.

    1. Canadian Platinum Guest

      Why do surgeons and nurses wear masks in operating theatres?

    2. DCS Diamond

      Numerous studies have compared areas that mandated masks, including N95s, to those without and there is essentially zero difference.

      Utterly and demonstrably bogus claim I already debunked countless times here and elsewhere by providing links to credible rather than quack science papers.

      BTW, Alan, did you wear a mask at all during the pandemic, are you just Monday morning quarterbacking now that the risk of infection has abated to a manageable level thanks to countless...

      Numerous studies have compared areas that mandated masks, including N95s, to those without and there is essentially zero difference.

      Utterly and demonstrably bogus claim I already debunked countless times here and elsewhere by providing links to credible rather than quack science papers.

      BTW, Alan, did you wear a mask at all during the pandemic, are you just Monday morning quarterbacking now that the risk of infection has abated to a manageable level thanks to countless around the world who took the pandemic seriously and followed guidelines issued to limit the infections until effective vaccines were found?

    3. platy Guest

      @ Alan

      Believe what you will, mate. But don't make false claims about the data. There is nothing "founded" in the data about your commentary, which leaves you with the "dumb" bit of your posted self description.

      Here is a reference to the most comprehensive research ever done on the effectiveness of wearing masks:

      "https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9036942/"

      [remove the quotations marks]

      Clue - masks do their job at reducing the rates of viral transmission. Do they work...

      @ Alan

      Believe what you will, mate. But don't make false claims about the data. There is nothing "founded" in the data about your commentary, which leaves you with the "dumb" bit of your posted self description.

      Here is a reference to the most comprehensive research ever done on the effectiveness of wearing masks:

      "https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9036942/"

      [remove the quotations marks]

      Clue - masks do their job at reducing the rates of viral transmission. Do they work perfectly? No. And that is not being claimed. Think about it - we still enact health and safety protocols in all sorts of scenarios to manage the risk (probability) of an event occurring, without guarantee of eliminating said risk.

      People like your wife (surgeons) take all sorts of precautions to reduce the risk of bacterial infection, but some patients still contract MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) despite their best efforts. Does that mean they stop enacting those precautions - no, it it does not.

      Another clue - a well designed study of 340,000 individuals is called science, whereas a unitary sample size of somebody's wife (as wonderful, smart and gifted she may be) is scientifically and statistically meaningless. It's like saying that all cars don't work because your own car had a flat battery and you couldn't get the thing started.

      Incidentally, you need to read the original scientific / medical literature, not some biased interpretation of such. Interestingly, I've seen the results of this study wantonly misquoted in a right wing anti-mask article seized upon by certain regular covidiots on some prominent travel blogs.

      The same logic applies to vaccines. Are they perfect at preventing transmission, no. And such was never claimed. But we have extensive data on their efficacy (through studies undertaken for their approval) and effectiveness (real world application). You can research the original literature by using PubMed as your search engine - your wife should be able to show you how to do that.

      The value of vaccines is significant when applied at the population level where health policy is seeking to maintain hospital administrations well within resourced limits and reduce mortality.

      Believing otherwise is pure lunacy. But people do.

      It's (mostly these days) your choice to wear a mask and / or keep your vaccinations up to date, bit don't pretend you have any insight into the data.

  2. Pete Guest

    The huge travel weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving is two weeks away and the travel restrictions create pandemonium in the YYZ customs hall on a normal day, with people often being held on their flights at the gate for hours just to get into the hours-long line for customs.

    I suspect that might have something to do with the timing.

  3. Philippe Guest

    @Lucy Since you travel to the UAE a lot, it might be noteworthy that yesterday the UAE government announced the end of the requirement for masks in indoor areas & in flights from tomorrow onwards.

  4. Tony W Guest

    No "measures" ever worked against a virus. Trying to "do something" about it is always as fruitless as trying to prevent sunrises and sunsets. It is all about the general strength of the natural immune system. Sweden never had any masks or "social distancing" or closed schools or any of that futile nonsense, and people here in Sweden turned out to be healthier over the last 2.5 years than 95% of all countries.

  5. Pete Guest

    If masks prevent the spread and they do. That could have still been kept in place till WHO thought that the epidemic was now an endemic.

    1. Steven Guest

      Yes...until your chicken or pasta meal is served and then you and the entire economy class cabin unmask altogether and spread your COVID across the entire cabin.

      Give me a break. It's safety theatre with a side of serious discomfort.

  6. Adam Simmons Guest

    I'm visiting Canada right now and we're presumably amongst the last to have been 'selected at random' for Covid tests. Yes, both of us, so how random is it, I wonder?

    Mask wearing already seems optional. We were on the bus and subway in Montréal this morning and just about nobody is wearing a mask!

    1. derek Guest

      Those people are dumb not wearing a N95 mask or any mask. It's not like a hot date where you're trying to look good to obtain sex. On a Montreal subway or bus, it's just some ugly fat people going to work -- why get Covid from that? Wear a mask and don't be stupid.

    2. East2West Member

      You haven’t read stories of people finding the one by chance on the subway

  7. DenB Diamond

    Canada's Conservative Party has just elected a new leader, whose campaign largely targeted pandemic measures. Most observers agree that the government was keen to take this arrow out of the new guy's quiver.

    1. HereHare Guest

      Totally agree. They would have looked idiotic in Q Time with Pierre P asking how NZ, Australia and Singapore all adjusted policies but not JT. It was a politically driven decision, not a health policy decision.

    2. Steven Guest

      Bingo. Right on the nose.

      And the new guy has been pretty confrontational in parliament for years. The liberals have been playing dodgeball with his questions for years, but the current question period was long enough for this.

      They also wanted to ensure they could punish the Freedom Convoy people for as long as possible.

  8. Donna Diamond

    Long overdue. Italy will be lifting its last remaining mask mandate for public transportation at the end of the month. Landing in Rome Sunday my flight had no gate and we were deplaned by stairs and jammed into very crowded cattle cars (busses without seats) and taken to the arrivals terminal. No masks there, talk about a target rich environment for the virus. Had to laugh because a few minutes later I had to mask...

    Long overdue. Italy will be lifting its last remaining mask mandate for public transportation at the end of the month. Landing in Rome Sunday my flight had no gate and we were deplaned by stairs and jammed into very crowded cattle cars (busses without seats) and taken to the arrivals terminal. No masks there, talk about a target rich environment for the virus. Had to laugh because a few minutes later I had to mask in the Taxi for the ride into Rome and on the 28th will mask for one last train ride before there are no remaining restrictions.

    1. Adam Simmons Guest

      I agree. Masks have been obligatory on flights but not on crowded airbridges or shuttle buses. I'm not anti-mask, just anti inconsistent policy making.

    2. Santastico Guest

      I spent the summer in Italy. I didn't see any Italian wearing a mask. Some brainwashed people were wearing one but not Italians. Not on restaurants, hotels, on the streets, etc... Zero!!! I flew KLM to Italy and no masks at all.

    3. Donna Diamond

      Santastico- Agree, very few Italians still wearing masks with the exception of some food workers, Taxi drivers and pharmacy employees.

  9. Steve Diamond

    Never understood the "this country handled the pandemic better" statements. The virus was not prevented by a single country. Certain measures just delated the inevitable and gave the appearance that it was restrictions that prevent deaths when in reality it was an individual's health. Did the US "handle the pandemic" worse than Canada, or is it because canadian citizens on average much healthier and more active than americans so many more cases went undetected and...

    Never understood the "this country handled the pandemic better" statements. The virus was not prevented by a single country. Certain measures just delated the inevitable and gave the appearance that it was restrictions that prevent deaths when in reality it was an individual's health. Did the US "handle the pandemic" worse than Canada, or is it because canadian citizens on average much healthier and more active than americans so many more cases went undetected and they experience fewer deaths.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      A more methodological way would answer your question in a way. But there is no right answer.
      "handled the pandemic better" could be measured by the number of cases per capita.
      "on average much healthier" could be measured by life expectancy.
      "more active" could be measured by average BMI.
      "went undetected" could be measured by # of tests.
      "experience fewer deaths" could be measured by mortality rate.

      Or all of...

      A more methodological way would answer your question in a way. But there is no right answer.
      "handled the pandemic better" could be measured by the number of cases per capita.
      "on average much healthier" could be measured by life expectancy.
      "more active" could be measured by average BMI.
      "went undetected" could be measured by # of tests.
      "experience fewer deaths" could be measured by mortality rate.

      Or all of it could be measured by "how many toilet paper rolls were purchased" per capita in 2020.

      But by no means that country level policy doesn't affect the infections.
      While those zero tolerance country like China couldn't stop Covid, the 'reported' numbers are much lower than in the US.
      Is that because Chinese are healthier and more active than Americans?

    2. DCS Diamond

      But by no means that country level policy doesn't affect the infections.

      That is a demonstrably bogus and scientifically rejected claim.
      China could have done much better if the CCP had not refused to import more effective mRNA vaccines than the country's subpar vaccines, e.g. Sinovac, based on inactivated-virus technology that is effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, but provide less protection (against infection) than do the two mRNA vaccines developed...

      But by no means that country level policy doesn't affect the infections.

      That is a demonstrably bogus and scientifically rejected claim.
      China could have done much better if the CCP had not refused to import more effective mRNA vaccines than the country's subpar vaccines, e.g. Sinovac, based on inactivated-virus technology that is effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, but provide less protection (against infection) than do the two mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna.

      This is the "information age". Information is free.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @DCS

      Isn't what you say exactly "But by no means that country level policy doesn't affect the infections."?

    4. DCS Diamond

      Not as you meant it because you generalized, turning the exception into a rule when the converse is true.

      Bad decisions by some governments are the exception that proves the rule that vaccines control infections.

    5. Eskimo Guest

      @DCS

      Here we go again, just like points valuation. Let's end it here ;)

    6. DCS Diamond

      Here we go again, just like points valuation. Let's end it here ;)

      Because I've won the points valuation non-debate "debate" hands down (have you seen any blogger claim recently that the Hyatt point is the "most valuable"? Well, I've put an end to that canard for good), it means that you just conceded defeat here as well. Case dismissed as mindless!

    7. Arie Guest

      Not sure that we canadians are healthier than americans...maybe. but what we do know is that in canada the numbers of deaths adjusted for population was a third from that of the united states. So the outcome for canadians is so far is better than the US and since we are the same physiologically(humans), the difference was in leadership.

    8. Steve Diamond

      This is where i disagree I have spent a lot of time in Canada and can clearly say its a much more active and healthy population than what we have here in the states. We were under two different leaders in the US and neither did anything that prevented massive spread because the virus was always going to win, a healthier population has fewer deaths, fewer hospitalization and many more cases that go undetected.

    9. DCS Diamond

      We were under two different leaders in the US and neither did anything that prevented massive spread because the virus was always going to win...

      What a bunch of bull...

      Steve, sir, you cannot rewrite current history and hope to get away with it. One US president called the pandemic a "hoax" devised the "radical liberals" to hurt his reelection chances and did absolutely nothing about the pandemic threat, other than promo quack "cure" like...

      We were under two different leaders in the US and neither did anything that prevented massive spread because the virus was always going to win...

      What a bunch of bull...

      Steve, sir, you cannot rewrite current history and hope to get away with it. One US president called the pandemic a "hoax" devised the "radical liberals" to hurt his reelection chances and did absolutely nothing about the pandemic threat, other than promo quack "cure" like drinking detergent or zapping the virus with a laser light. On the other hand, there is the US president who came in and promoted widespread testing and vaccination, and held in place as long as possible the highly unpopular requirement mandating a negative COVID test and masking to fly, all of which prevented the virus from "winning."

      That is right. The virus was not always going to win and only one of two US presidents understood that and made sure it would be the case.

      G'day.

  10. derek Guest

    Requiring vaccination, like they do for yellow fever, still makes sense.

    1. East2West Member

      I don’t think the current vaccines are up to the level as yellow fever vaccines in preventing catching and spreading the virus. I think vaccines introduced will be equivalent to the flu vaccine every season and constantly changing

  11. Never In Doubt Guest

    "So I do find it a bit strange that all these restrictions are being lifted right now, a few days into fall, rather than during a time of year that’s inherently lower risk.”

    Here’s my crank theory.

    MLB playoffs begin in about a week, and the advantage that the Toronto Blue Jays had during the regular season just wasn’t acceptable to MLB during the playoffs.

    1. FlyerDon Guest

      Don’t forget the NHL is starting up too.

  12. DCS Diamond

    Hopefully, this will result in the reopening of centers across the Canadian border (e.g., Trudeau Montreal International Airport [YUL]) where one can schedule an interview for the NEXUS Trusted Traveler program, through which I also get Global Entry. I was conditionally approved for NEXUS about 3 months ago but have been unable to schedule an interview because there are no slots for "remote virtual interview" in the foreseeable future, attempts to schedule an in-person interview...

    Hopefully, this will result in the reopening of centers across the Canadian border (e.g., Trudeau Montreal International Airport [YUL]) where one can schedule an interview for the NEXUS Trusted Traveler program, through which I also get Global Entry. I was conditionally approved for NEXUS about 3 months ago but have been unable to schedule an interview because there are no slots for "remote virtual interview" in the foreseeable future, attempts to schedule an in-person interview at centers across the Canadian border have so far returned the message "No appointments available for this location", and the few available centers on the US side of the border are not at all convenient (tough to get to). In fact, it's been so tough to schedule ether a "remote virtual interview" or in-person interview for NEXUS that this message appears in Trusted Traveler program users' accounts:

    Due to a significant increase in application volume, we are extending the grace period to allow you continued full benefits while U.S. Customs and Border Protection is finalizing your renewal application.

    My current NEXUS card will expire in November 2022. I am hoping to be able to renew it before it expires, perhaps with a quick trip to YUL as I did in the past, now that travel to Canada will "normalize" again.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I’d guess it’s unrelated.

      When Global Entry renewals got backed up you were still able to use your GE account more than a year after it expired. Are you sure NEXUS isn’t like that now?

    2. DCS Diamond

      It's the same. That is what the message in users' accounts I posted is about. I am sure that if I cannot renew my NEXUS card by November, I'll still be able to use it...

    3. DenB Diamond

      Your NEXUS membership will deliver full benefits after expiry date, if you have applied online for renewal. It won't matter whether your interview is before, or after, the expiry date printed on the card. Your actual expiry (if you have applied for renewal and paid the fee) is extended 24 months.

    4. DCS Diamond

      Yes, that was my understanding. I applied for renewal and was approved 3 months ago. So, I believe that the extended "grace period" applies to me.

  13. Sean Guest

    Here's hoping the US lifts its restrictions on unvaccinated foreign nationals!

  14. Jason Guest

    Off topic. But are you able to see if United is having issues with redemptions on Lufthansa? It’s completely blocked

    1. East2West Member

      Seriously off topic lol

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derek Guest

Those people are dumb not wearing a N95 mask or any mask. It's not like a hot date where you're trying to look good to obtain sex. On a Montreal subway or bus, it's just some ugly fat people going to work -- why get Covid from that? Wear a mask and don't be stupid.

1
Steve Diamond

Never understood the "this country handled the pandemic better" statements. The virus was not prevented by a single country. Certain measures just delated the inevitable and gave the appearance that it was restrictions that prevent deaths when in reality it was an individual's health. Did the US "handle the pandemic" worse than Canada, or is it because canadian citizens on average much healthier and more active than americans so many more cases went undetected and they experience fewer deaths.

1
derek Guest

Requiring vaccination, like they do for yellow fever, still makes sense.

1
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