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November 19, 2021 – Federal government update on COVID-19

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the federal government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lifting of the PCR test requirement for trips outside the country lasting less than 72 hours

Federal Health Minister Jean Yves-Duclos, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi have announced that beginning November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians will no longer have to provide a negative PCR test result to return to the country after short trips lasting less than 72 hours. The government also announced it is expanding the list of accepted vaccines at border crossings on the same date to include the Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN shots.

Starting January 15, 2022, some groups of travellers currently exempt from certain entry requirements will be allowed to enter Canada only if fully vaccinated.

Those groups are:

  • People travelling to reunite with family members (unvaccinated children 18 or under will still be exempt if travelling to meet a fully vaccinated member of their immediate or extended family who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act);
  • International students aged 18 and older;
  • Professional and amateur athletes;
  • Persons with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (other than those in agriculture and food processing);
  • Providers of essential services (including truck drivers).

Vaccination for children aged 5 to 11

Canada will receive its first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children between 5 and 11 years of age on November 21.

The remainder of the 2.9 million doses required will arrive by the end of the week. Quebec will be able to begin vaccinating this age group within days.

The shipments represent “enough doses to offer a first shot to all eligible children in this country,” Minister Tassi said.