Canada allows only fully vaccinated inbound travellers


Over 4,600 cases related to the Delta variant of the coronavirus have been reported in Canada so far…reports Asian Lite News

As Canada has decided to gradually open up to international travel, the country has also seen an uptick in the number of Covid-19 cases related to the highly infectious Delta variant over the last few weeks.

More than 4,600 cases related to the Delta variant of the coronavirus have been reported in Canada so far and its spread is being watched carefully by the country’s health authorities.

However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the government was proceeding on a “step-by-step” basis and the “next step will be looking at measures that can allow for international travellers who are fully vaccinated. That will be our first focus”.

Non-essential travel to Canada has been prohibited since March last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic first took hold in the country and across the world. “We are going to make sure we are moving forward on that in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said on easing restrictions on non-essential travel.

However, such a move will not apply to those who are not vaccinated against the disease. “That’s not going to happen for quite a while,” the Canadian PM clarified.

Canada announced easing of restrictions for citizens and permanent residents that came into effect on July 5.

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The requirement of isolating at a government-approved hotel for three days while results of a Covid-19 test on arrival are available was dropped for fully vaccinated individuals that qualified for the exemption.

The categories of travellers benefitting from the relaxation in rules included citizens, permanent residents, their immediate and extended family members, international students with a valid study permit at a designated learning institution with a Covid-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory, and temporary workers with valid work permits.

The move also applied to those vaccinated with a jab approved for emergency use authorisation by Health Canada.

Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Health Canada has so far approved the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Covishield, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

While Covishield, the Indian version of the AZ vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, is accepted in Canada, Indian-made Covaxin and Russian-made Sputnik V are not.

The Pennsylvania-based firm Ocugen has partnered with Bharat Biotech to make Covaxin available in North America, and has entered into discussions with Health Canada for regulatory approval. The vaccine has yet to receive emergency use authorisation.

Restrictions remain in place for those not fully vaccinated or vaccinated with a jab not authorised in Canada. Such travellers have to complete the three-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel while awaiting results of their tests, submit to a second test on day eight of their arrival, and complete the full 14-day period of self-isolation.

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