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Canada has allowed entry for fully vaccinated international travelers and will no longer require a molecular COVID-19 test as the cheaper and faster antigen tests will now suffice.
The government has also dropped the travel advisory that warned Canadians from international travel.
These announcements come as a result of the drop in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Earlier this month, Canada’s top doctor said that the country had already passed the peak of its latest wave caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant.
Cases in Canada began to rise in December, then it began to plateau in the last days of January.
There will be a reassessment of the relaxed entry rules in the coming weeks. A drop in testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians who make trips of less than 72 hours is being eyed.
Vaccinated travelers will now be able to choose between testing a negative rapid antigen test one day before traveling or a molecular test within 72 hours of their departing flight. There will be those selected for random testing upon arrival, but they will no longer need to quarantine while waiting for results.
On the other hand, unvaccinated Canadians will need to take a rapid test before boarding the plane and will also need to take a molecular test once they land and another one eight days later. They also need to isolate for two weeks.
Around 80% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, while more than 40% have been vaccinated with a booster shot.
Several provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and the country’s most populous province, Ontario, have recently announced an easing of restrictions amid the steady decrease of infections.
Weeks-long protests sparked in Ottawa and several border crossings in opposition to the restrictions. It caused disruptions in trade and paralysis of the core of Canada’s capital.
After a tense stand-off with police, demonstrators were cleared from Ottawa earlier this month.