Government of Canada Will Remove Pre-Entry Test Requirement for Fully Vaccinated Travellers on April 1

The Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test.

As a reminder, travellers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing. Travellers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.

For partially or unvaccinated travellers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada, pre-entry testing requirements are not changing. Unless otherwise exempt, all travellers 5 years of age or older who do not qualify as fully vaccinated must continue to provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result:

  • a valid, negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada no more than one day before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
  • a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
  • a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight departure time or their arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted.

All travellers continue to be required to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) before their arrival in Canada. Travellers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before boarding.

Source: Government of Canada

Ontario Lifts Mask Mandates in Most Spaces, but It’s No ‘Light Switch’ to Life Pre-Pandemic

Ontario has lifted its masking requirements in most indoor settings including in schools, restaurants, gyms and stores on March 21. The change comes a few weeks after the province lifted proof-of-vaccination rules and capacity limits.

Provincial politicians and top health officials say public health indicators have improved enough to remove mask rules, which have also been lifted in other jurisdictions across Canada and elsewhere around the world. Premier Doug Ford has said he plans to keep wearing a mask in the provincial legislature “for the first few days” after the mandate lifts, stressing that people should be allowed to keep wearing masks if they want to.

Masks still mandatory in some settings

Select settings such as public transit, health-care facilities, long-term care homes and congregate care settings will keep mask mandates until the end of April, when the province plans to put an end to all remaining public health rules.

Dr. Peter Jüni, who heads Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table, is still encouraging people to continue wearing their masks in busy indoor environments at this time. “It’s not black or white … as long as we take it slow gradually, we should be OK,” Jüni told CBC News Sunday.  “It’s just not pretending it’s over, ‘There’s a light switch and tomorrow we go back to pre-pandemic.’ We’re not.”

The province’s top doctor has similarly stated that people must remain “kind, considerate and respectful” toward those who continue wearing a mask. Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of health, has also said making masks optional does not signal that COVID-19 has disappeared or that the pandemic is over, but it means that Ontario has come to place where it can now manage the virus.

‘They want a safe return from March break’

Some local health officials in parts of the province’s north are encouraging residents to keep wearing masks in indoor public settings. School boards that wanted more time to keep mask mandates have been ordered by Moore to adhere to the official end date, but the Hamilton-Wentworth school board has said it plans to keep the mask requirement until April 1.

​Stephanie De Castro​, ​a Grade 11 student at Senator O’Connor College School​ in Toronto, said “a lot” of students at her school walked into school wearing masks on Monday despite the mandate being lifted, including herself. “I do think it’s a little bit soon, especially after March break,” De Castro told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

Some teachers will continue to keep their masks on after returning to classrooms following March break, said Jennifer Brown, president of Elementary Teachers of Toronto. “Teachers understand they’re going to have to live with COVID but they want a cautious approach to the return,” Brown said. “[They] are very anxious about the unmasking situation. They want a safe return from March break … many people have travelled during this time.”

Source: CBC