The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) stated on Friday, September 3, that vaccinated visitors will be welcomed.
“Effective September 7, foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption can enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel,” the CBSA stated in a statement.
In effect, the confirmation of the already announced reopening schedule should make it easier for fully vaccinated non-Canadian citizens and permanent residents who follow the rules to visit the country.
Travelers must, however, verify that they meet the appropriate testing and online form-filling criteria prior to arrival.
The confirmation of future border reopening comes a month after restrictions on non-essential travel for fully vaccinated visitors from the United States were eliminated.
According to CBC News, the relaxation on August 9 resulted in a 100% surge in entries into the country in the week after the opening.
“Vaccinated travelers… pose a much, much lower risk of carrying and importing cases of COVID into the country [than unvaccinated travelers], and the evidence supports that,” said Denis Vinette, vice-president of the CBSA’s COVID-19 border task force.
Arrivals by air increased by 30% in the first week after the removal of limitations, with 179,939 flight arrivals compared to 138,257 the previous week.
Only 46,506 passengers arrived by plane in the equivalent August week in 2020, compared to 783,790 in 2019.
Air Canada confirmed this week that flights between Montréal and Billy Bishop Toronto City airport would restart, which is a positive indication for the Canadian domestic aviation sector.
The five daily return flights between Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Toronto Island would begin on September 8.
With its Air Canada Express Jazz subsidiary, the airline will fly a De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft and provide customers with a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport to downtown Toronto.
“We are pleased to restart our operations at Billy Bishop airport and offer our customers the choice of flying in and out of Toronto Island, which is popular among business travelers due to its proximity to the city center and its ability to connect travelers to our global network through Montreal,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Billy Bishop airport was closed to commercial airplane operations. The resumption of services to Montréal coincides with the reopening of commercial services at the airport on September 8.
Because of its proximity to downtown Toronto, the airport provides passengers with a distinct alternative to flying into Toronto Pearson International.
Prior to the epidemic, the airport handled approximately 2.8 million passengers per year. In 2015, a pedestrian tunnel connecting the airport to the city with a six-minute walk opened, and over 90% of passengers decided to use it.