Some very welcome news for Canadians travellers, young and old, regardless of their vaccination status.

As of August 9th, the same day fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed into Canada, the federal government is completely doing away with the existing hotel quarantine requirements, as well as making adjustments to quarantine rules for families travelling with young children.

The hotel quarantine hurdle – which requires people to book a 3-day stay at a government approved hotel – was wiped out on July 5th for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents, arriving from beyond our borders. But it has remained in place for everyone else arriving via plane in the weeks since.

Well, as of August 9th,  unvaccinated or partially vaccinated air travellers will be able to proceed straight to their home or pre-arranged quarantine place to begin their 14-days of isolation. Canadians arriving via land borders have been allowed to do this since the entire hotel quarantine policy began being enforced, so it’s good to see the rules aligning.

When it comes to fully vaccinated parents and guardians, travelling with children under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible for any of the Health Canada-approved vaccines, they can heave a small sigh of relief next month, too.

Instead of forcing those families to keep their young kids in quarantine for two weeks, they can carry on as usual, provided the children stay away from locations or situations where young children congregate, like at daycares, schools or camps, for at least 14 days. The government has not provided a detailed list of locations to avoid, but parents and guardians should use common sense. The goal is to reduce the risk of transmissions in indoor group settings. Outside activities are always a safer bet.

Regardless of vaccine status or whether you are travelling with young kids, keep in mind that everyone entering Canada, whether they have been immunized against covid-19 or not, must submit a pre-arrival PCR test and a quarantine plan through the ArriveCAN app or web portal prior to entry.

Airlines will be responsible for ensuring that passengers have fully submitted their info before they board their flight. Travellers crossing by land must be organized and have their documents uploaded and saved before they make their way into the country.

This cannot be a last minute consideration, if you are planning to travel, ensure you are sorted out before you leave.

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