Canada dropping COVID border restrictions Oct. 1

Canada will end all COVID-19 border requirements for travelers entering the country on October 1. Masks are no longer required on airplanes either.

SEATTLE — The Canadian government announced Monday that people on airplanes will no longer be required to wear masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. Transport Canada said existing mask rules will end on October 1

Government officials also confirmed that Canada is dropping vaccination requirements for people entering the country at the end of the month.

Canada, like the United States, requires foreigners to be vaccinated upon entering the country. In the USA, no change in the mandate is expected in the short term.

Unvaccinated foreign travelers allowed into Canada are currently subject to mandatory arrival testing and a 14-day quarantine.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has agreed to let a Cabinet order enforcing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements at the border expire on September 30.

The government is also ending random COVID-19 testing at airports. There is also no need to fill out information in the unpopular ArriveCan app. Some blamed it for delays at airports.

The government will also no longer require passengers to carry out pre-board tests for cruise ships.

“The lifting of border measures has been facilitated by a number of factors, including models suggesting that Canada is largely past the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5-driven wave, Canada’s high vaccination rates, lower hospital admissions and death rates, as well the availability and use of vaccine boosters (including new bivalent formulations), rapid tests and treatments for COVID-19,” the government said in a press release.

The lifting of the vaccination mandate for non-citizens traveling to Canada means unvaccinated pro athletes like Major League Baseball players will be allowed to play in the playoffs in Toronto should the Blue Jays make it through the postseason.

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It would also apply to the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. Unvaccinated players are currently not allowed to cross the border into Canada. Health Canada continues to strongly recommend that people wear masks, especially in crowded environments like planes and trains.

The lifting of the requirements comes days after Amtrak service resumed between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, after being suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Service returns at a slower pace initially, with a daily round-trip flight departing Seattle at 7:45 am and departing Vancouver at 5:45 pm

The Seattle-Vancouver route will stop in five cities: Edmonds, Everett, Stanwood, Mount Vernon and Bellingham.

A second daily trip will be added in the future as Amtrak staff and equipment permit. The service was due to start earlier this year, but staff shortages made launch and operations difficult. Canada dropping COVID border restrictions Oct. 1

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