The Government of Canada has announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures, representing the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions.
The Global Business Travel Association Canada (GBTA Canada) welcomed the announcement by the federal government that it would be easing travel restrictions on March 1, 2022. Removing barriers to entry for travel into Canada, especially for business travel, is a positive step that will contribute to the recovery of Canadian trade and commerce. As pandemic policies continue to evolve, GBTA Canada also urged the government to align any future travel restrictions with best practices and policies used in the international community.
“GBTA Canada welcomes the Canadian government easing international restrictions as positive news. Reducing Canada’s travel advisory, eliminating the need for molecular testing prior to entry, opening more airports to international travel and eliminating the need to quarantine bring us closer to normal than ever before,” said Nancy Tudorache, regional vice president, Canada of GBTA. “It is important however, that the government also commit to align any future travel restrictions due to possible future variants, with international best practices so that Canadians that want to do business abroad, and those that want to come and do business in Canada, can do so in a predictable manner that supports our overall economic recovery.”
According to GBTA Canada data, the pandemic and associated travel restrictions at the height of the pandemic, resulted in nearly a 90 per cent decrease in business travel that negatively impacted 600,000 jobs and reduced spending in Canada by $2.9 billion (CAD) per month.
“Business travel is about making and strengthening connections, growing careers, doing deals, fostering client relationships, engaging employees, growing businesses, and stimulating economies. Countries around the world have recognized the importance of this activity and are working hard to recover. We remain committed to working with public leaders and officials to develop practices and policies in Canada that will help us recover the missed opportunities and related losses to Canadian businesses and the national economy,” added Tudorache.
While the pandemic is not over, much has been learned over the last two years that should give governments confidence that travel can continue to take place in a safe way. GBTA Canada remains committed to advocating for safe travel practices and policies supported by science and data, as the situation evolves.
The adjustments include:
- Easing on-arrival testing for fully-vaccinated travellers. All fully vaccinated travellers arriving to Canada may be randomly selected for arrival testing. However, they will no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.
- Children under 12 years old, travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will be exempt from quarantine without any prescribed conditions limiting their activities.
- Travellers will now have the option to use a COVID-19 rapid antigen test result or a molecular test result to satisfy pre-entry requirements.
- The Government of Canada will adjust its Travel Health Notice from a Level 3 to a Level 2. This means that the Government will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes.
- International flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at all Canadian airports that are designated by the Canada Border Services Agency to receive international passenger flights.