Canada to Drop Vaccine and ArriveCan App Requirement

Masks will also no longer be required on planes and trains. The new rules go into effect on October 1.

It's about to get much easier for travelers to visit Canada's vast wilderness — whether they're vaxxed or not.

Canada’s vast wilderness awaits—whether you’re vaxxed or not.

Photo by Shutterstock

Canada’s government announced Monday that it will scrap all of its remaining COVID-related border restrictions beginning on October 1.

Our northern neighbor will no longer require arrivals to be fully vaccinated, to undergo pre- or on-arrival testing, quarantine, or report COVID-19 signs or symptoms to the government upon entering Canada. Canada is also doing away with its mask mandate on domestic planes and trains, and cruise passengers will no longer be required to undergo COVID testing prior to boarding their ship. For international flights, whether or not masks are required will depend on the carrier and if it is required by the origin or destination country.

Travelers will also no longer be required to upload travel documents and proof of vaccination to the government app called ArriveCan, which has been heavily criticized for slowing down border crossing, not being particularly user-friendly, and for being error-ridden (sometimes instructing users to quarantine unnecessarily). The app will continue to exist and travelers can upload their regular border crossing info to it if they so choose (it could help speed up the process, supposedly), but it’s not required.

In April, Canada relaxed its entry requirements to allow vaccinated travelers to skip the predeparture COVID test—though they still had to use the ArriveCAN app. Canada first reopened its borders to vaccinated Americans in August 2021.

Currently, unvaccinated foreign travelers are only allowed to enter Canada if they submit to a mandatory PCR test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days. Those rules are still in effect until October 1—at that point, travelers who are midquarantine will no longer be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine, and new arrivals will no longer be required to submit a negative COVID test.

With this announcement Canada joins several other countries, including Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, and others, that have recently announced they have dropped or will soon be dropping vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related entry protocols.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at AFAR. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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