Is it mandatory to be vaccinated for travel?

Yes, at this time, all non-immigrant non-citizen air passengers traveling to the United States, regardless of their antibody status, must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination is required for travel in and out of Canada. A valid result from a COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination, unless you are eligible for one of the limited exemptions. The Canadian COVID-19 vaccination test is a reliable way for Canadians to show their COVID-19 vaccination history when they travel, and has all the necessary information for domestic and international travel.

If you are a foreign citizen with a permit to enter Canada without qualifying as fully vaccinated, you can take a connecting flight that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the departure time of your flight to Canada. In addition, several provincial human rights commissions have taken the position that objection to vaccination on personal grounds is not a protected ground under their respective codes and does not need to be accommodated. New permanent residents and resettled refugees who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will be allowed to travel to Canada to settle. If you do not provide proof of vaccination (or a valid result of a COVID-19 test if you have an exemption), you will not be able to travel.

If you have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), you do NOT need to be tested 3 to 5 days after your arrival. Travellers who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, such as a confirmed specific allergy, may be eligible for an exemption from the vaccination requirement. For example, if your child turns 12 in January, you can travel from January to April without presenting proof of vaccination or a test result. Unvaccinated children under 12 years and 4 months old do not require a COVID-19 test result to travel in or out of Canada.

People who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines should follow additional recommendations after travel. Leaders and members of various faiths and religious denominations have released public statements stating their support for the COVID-19 vaccine specifically in the interest of public health. A Gateway airport is an airport that has been identified as a hub for travel to and from remote communities and where vaccination requirements apply.

Kayode Alhassan
Kayode Alhassan

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