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Canada to drop COVID-19 requirements for travelers on Saturday

A Canadian flag flies at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, China, on January 15, 2019. Canada said this week it was moving forward to drop COVID-19 requirements for travelers coming into the country on Saturday. File Photo by Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE
A Canadian flag flies at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, China, on January 15, 2019. Canada said this week it was moving forward to drop COVID-19 requirements for travelers coming into the country on Saturday. File Photo by Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Canada said it will move forward to remove COVID-19 entry requirements for travelers coming to the country on Saturday.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said it will no longer require visitors to show proof of vaccination, take a test before or follow quarantine rules. The country said earlier this year it would make the move.

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"Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border," Canada's Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.

"However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses and exercise individual public health measures."

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Officials said dropping the border measures came after modeling that indicated that Canada has largely passed the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 that fueled the latest wave of COVID-19 cases. Canada's high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates also played a factor in the decision.

"Canada's travel measures successfully mitigated the full impact of COVID-19 for travelers and workers in the transportation sector and helped keep communities safe," Canada's Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement.

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The government said travelers must still follow any provincial or territorial COVID-19 requirements where they exist. Foreign nationals must still meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation as necessary.

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Airline carriers, though, will no longer need to validate that travelers have entered information in ArriveCAN before boarding.

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