Canada is reviewing its vaccine booster strategy, adding new countries to the list of nations subjected to federal travel restrictions, and is imposing new testing requirements on all air travellers coming from outside of Canada with the exception of the U.S., due to concerns over the Omicron Variant.
Federal ministers and public health officials announced these three new steps on Tuesday during an update on the latest measures Canada is taking in response to the variant of concern.
The new testing requirements mean that all air travellers coming from outside Canada, with the exception of the United States, will now need to be tested at the airport when they land in Canada.
Those who are vaccinated will have to isolate until they get a negative result, and those who are unvaccinated will continue to have to isolate for the full 14 days and test on day one and day eight of their quarantine.
In terms of the travel ban, Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt will join seven other African countries— South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini
Effective November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will not have to present a pre-entry molecular test. This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter by land or by air and can demonstrate that they have been away from Canada for less than 72 hours. This exemption extends to accompanying children under 12, and individuals with medical contraindications to vaccination.
Also effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.
Also effective October 30, travellers departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. To allow travellers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, they risk not qualifying for travel as of November 30.
Read the full announcement here.
As of August 9, 2021, new measures will be put in place for travellers to Canada, including international students.
This includes the following:
Eliminating the 3-night government-authorized hotel stay requirement for all air travellers arriving after 12:01 a.m. EDT on August 9, 2021. Until that time, non-vaccinated travellers flying to Canada must complete their 3-night hotel stay while they wait for their on-arrival test results.
Implementing a surveillance randomized testing regime for fully vaccinated travellers who qualify for entry to Canada at select airports and land border crossings across Canada. Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to mandatory on-arrival and day 8 testing.
Allowing individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, but who continue to test positive, to present a positive COVID-19 molecular test result on a specimen taken 14 to 180 days prior to arrival in Canada as part of the pre-entry test requirements.
For more information, please refer to the Government’s official announcement.
Beginning July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.
To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.
For these new measures to apply to them, fully vaccinated travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre- and on-arrival testing. Continued testing will allow public health experts to keep monitoring positivity rates at the border, monitor for variants of concern, and make further adjustments to border measures as needed.
Fully vaccinated travellers must also be asymptomatic, have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada. They must still present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine. As with all other exempt travellers, they will be required to follow public health measures in place, such as wearing a mask when in public, keep a copy of their vaccine and test results, as well as a list of close contacts for 14 days after entry to Canada.
For travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to Canada’s current border measures.
Read the full update on the official website.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada.
In an effort to curb the continuing coronavirus crisis, Canada will require all air passengers to obtain a negative COVID-19 test three days before arriving in the country.
The test must be a PCR test — considered the gold standard of COVID-19 tests. These tests need to be processed in a lab and usually take at least a day to provide results.
The new travel rule does not replace the 14-day quarantine period. Violation of quarantine laws can result in up to six months in jail or up to $750,000 in fines.
Masks are required in order to enter the College and must be worn in all public areas, with some exceptions. On the 3rd floor of the College, the Secondary bubble, masks are encouraged but not required.
Anyone entering the building must wear a mask. Security will be checking.
Before entering the College, a COVID health assessment must be performed. See the Columbia Safe app.
Winter 2022 Update (January 17, 2022)
From January 24, we are going back to in-person classes for all UT courses (excluding designated flex and synchronous courses).
More information will be shared with Faculty, Staff and Students later this week.
Winter 2022 Update
Columbia College will temporarily be moving all scheduled university-level, ENGL 098 and ENGL 099, in-person courses to online. All science labs will still be delivered in person. At this time, the shift will encompass the first 2 weeks of the semester. Upon new incoming information, we are anticipating that all courses will resume in person on Monday, January 24th.
Secondary courses will proceed as scheduled to start on Monday, January 10 and continue to be delivered both in an in-person and hyflex mode.
During this period, campus will be open and all services will be available to students.
Winter 2022 Course Delivery
We are pleased to announce that the college is resuming safe on-campus instruction starting Winter 2022. Most classes will be back full-time in-person, with limited online courses offered.
Students attending in-person courses will be required to arrive in Vancouver before classes start on Monday, January 10, 2022. All students planning to travel are required to complete the travel form on our website. To ensure everyone’s health, safety and well-being, we also ask that you read the college’s safety plan.
Orientation for all new students will be conducted mostly online, with a small component of in-person session. You will receive more information on Orientation and course registration in the next few weeks.