Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:
- submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
- provide proof of vaccination;
- undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
- carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
- monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.
Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travellers will no longer be required to:
- undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
- wear masks on planes and trains.
Have the measures been effective?
According to the Government of Canada, the measures have mitigated the magnitude of the potential impact of COVID-19 on travelers and transportation workers, and provided broad protection to our communities.
But according to a report called “Evaluating Canada’s Pandemic Border and Travel Policies: Lessons Learned” authored by four Canadian physicians specializing in infectious disease management who assessed the incidence and effectiveness of border measures and other travel restrictions introduced by the Canadian government to manage the pandemic. The report concludes the following:
- Border measures have been largely ineffective at stopping Variants of Concern from entering and spreading across Canada and are unlikely to be effective in the future. At best, travel restrictions are estimated to delay the impact of a variant of concern by a few days
- There is no convincing evidence that pre-departure and on-arrival testing and surveillance have had a significant impact on local transmission in Canadian communities
- Travel-related testing is ineffective in identifying COVID-19 cases and preventing the spread of the virus and should no longer be imposed. Other alternative measures, such as community wastewater testing, are more accessible surveillance mechanisms to identify variants without inconveniencing travellers and requiring significant government and industry resources
- The masking obligation is inconsistent from a public policy perspective. Air travel is among the safest modes of travel in terms of risk of transmission with high air exchange rates. As such, it raises the question of the benefit of mask mandates targeting the travel sector, especially when they aren’t being applied in society and by other countries.
Canada is dead last among Western countries to lift all border measures, more than 80 countries have done so for months according to the WHO recommendations of last January.
Source: Government of Canada