Canada has extended the ban on direct flights from India to August 21. The ban, which was first imposed on April 22, was to expire on July 21. This is the fourth time that Canada has extended the ban. The country had initially banned direct flights amid fear of the devastating second Covid-19 wave that was raging in India and also concern over transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Canada has also extended the pre-departure Covid-19 tests for Indian travellers via an indirect route. Passengers travelling from India who are connecting at a different point of departure will be required to undergo a negative RT-PCR test before being allowed to continue their journey to Canada. The announcement follows a slew of measures the country has announced to relax travel restrictions. It has said it would open its borders to all travellers who have completed the full course of any Canada-accepted vaccine a minimum of 14 days before entering the country from September 7. This, however, will depend the country’s domestic epidemiologic situation remaining favourable.
Canada will allow fully vaccinated Americans as well as permanent residents to enter for non-essential travel from August 9, provided they complete their vaccinations a minimum of 14 days before entering the country. Travellers who have been vaccinated fully will also no longer need to undergo the post-arrival test. Canada will continue to test those who have not completed the full course or are unvaccinated or have taken vaccines not recognised by the country’s health authorities.
Canada will also eliminate the three-day quarantine requirement at a designated hotel while awaiting the test results from August 9 as well. While vaccinated travellers will no longer need to undergo any quarantine, others will have to provide a plan for it.
Canada has so far authorised vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca (Covishield).