Canada extends all existing Covid-related border restrictions till Sept 30


Canada extended all existing Covid-related border restrictions till at least September 30 this year, the government announced on Wednesday. The restrictions include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for everyone except the fully vaccinated, which in this case means having taken the primary series of two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by Canadian health authorities.

These rules also apply to travellers from India arriving in Canada and the two main vaccines used in India, Covishield and Covaxin, are both approved in Canada for travel.

Those not considered fully vaccinated will also be tested on the first and eighth days after their entry into Canada.

All incoming travellers will continue to be required to fill in their details, including vaccination status, on ArriveCAN within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada. The app can be accessed on mobile devices or through its website. In addition, the government also said random Covid testing of passengers will remain on pause till July 15. It was initially stopped on June 11 after the policy resulted in extreme delays at Canadian airports.

Once it is reintroduced, the testing regimen -- including randomly selected passenger -- will be shifted offsite to “test provider stores, pharmacies, or by virtual appointment”, according to a release from the Public Health Agency of Canada on Wednesday.

Canada’s minister of health Jean-Yves Duclos said, “As we move into the next phase of our Covid-19 response, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. We must continue to do all that we can to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus. It is also important for individuals to remain up to date with the recommended vaccinations to ensure they are adequately protected against infection, transmission, and severe complications.” Meanwhile, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on Wednesday released an interim vaccination guidance, which strongly recommended that those belonging to vulnerable groups, like senior citizens (aged 65 or over), should be offered another booster dose this fall, regardless of the number of such shots they received previously.

It also issued a discretionary advisory that those aged between 12 and 64 could also be offered such a dose in the fall.

“The likelihood, timing, and severity of a future wave of Covid-19 is uncertain. There may be an increase in Covid-19 activity in the later fall and winter seasons as people spend more time together indoors,” NACI said in a statement.

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