Canada Lifts Testing Requirement for Unvaccinated Children

"Today's announcement is another step forward for traveling families, tourism workers and business owners, and the Canadian economy as a whole."

Canada has once again eased entry restrictions, dropping pre-arrival testing for unvaccinated children and eliminating mask rules for vaccinated travelers along with other measures.

The new rules, which went into effect on Monday, no longer require unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children between 5 and 11 years old to get tested before coming to the country if they arrive with a fully vaccinated adult, according to the government.

Unvaccinated travelers 12 years old and older will still be required to get tested with a rapid antigen test the day before their flight or arrival at a land or marine border, get tested with a molecular test (like a PCR) taken within 72 hours of their flight or arrival, or show proof they contracted COVID-19 and recovered within 180 days, according to the government. Children under 5 were never required to get tested.

"We are committed to a safe reopening; one that provides predictability, flexibility and shows the world that Canada is one of the safest places to travel," Randy Boissonnault, the minister of tourism and associate minister of finance, said in a statement. "Today's announcement is another step forward for traveling families, tourism workers and business owners, and the Canadian economy as a whole."

A vehicle from the United States passes through a boundary marker at the Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada,
Liang Sen/Getty Images

In addition to easing entry requirements for children, Canada on Monday eliminated the need for fully vaccinated visitors to wear masks in public spaces for 14 days after arriving in the country as well as stopped requiring them to quarantine if another traveler in their group tests positive for the virus.

All travelers to Canada will still be required to fill out a form on the country's ArriveCAN app or website. And the country continues to require travelers to show proof of vaccination to board a plane or ride a train as well as require masks be worn on board and in airports.

The decision to ease entry requirements comes just over a month after Canada eliminated pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travelers.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies Canada as a "Level 3" destination, indicating a "high" level of COVID-19 transmission and warning Americans they should be "up to date" with their vaccines before traveling there.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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