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June 21, 2021 – Federal and provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Easing of health measures at Canadian borders

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced that effective July 6, travellers who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to entering Canada by air or land will no longer be required to undergo quarantine or “Day 8 testing.”

These easing measures apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as well as to foreign nationals who were already permitted to re-enter Canada.

A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received all doses of one of the four vaccines licensed in Canada (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen).

Travellers must be tested within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight and again upon their arrival. They must also have a quarantine plan in the event that Canadian border authorities determine they do not meet the requirements.

Travellers should keep a copy of their immunization documents for checking at the border and for 14 days after entering Canada.

The supporting documents must be submitted in the ArriveCAN application.

Canada’s borders, including the one with the United States, remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21.

Other measures

The federal government is extending the ban on direct flights with India until July 21, but announced that this is the last extension. Flights to and from Pakistan are now allowed.

Accelerated queues for fully vaccinated travellers will be introduced at the airport.

Second dose in Québec and international travel

Québec Premier François Legault announced that more than 75% of eligible Quebecers have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and that 17% are fully vaccinated.

“The second dose is needed to increase protection–it is important for us and for the vulnerable people around us. It is important for those who want to travel in future and especially to have herd immunity and to be able to return to a normal life as soon as possible,” Mr. Legault emphasized.

Asked about the relaxation of border health measures announced by the federal government, Mr. Legault said he agreed, provided that people have received their two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. He also stressed the importance of proof of vaccination as part of the process.

Contrary to the guidelines of Canadian authorities, Québec considers that only one dose is necessary for people who have had COVID-19. “This is part of the discussions. It’s not clear at the moment, either with the United States or with Europe, whether it will be considered a complete vaccination. We have no control over the requirements of other countries in the world,” Mr. Legault said.