The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

OTTAWA — Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada will soon be able to avoid a mandatory quarantine.

The first stage in loosening the border restrictions that have been in place for 15 months will begin at 11:59 p.m. eastern time on July 5.

It will apply only to people already eligible to travel to Canada, including citizens, permanent residents, and people registered under the Indian Act.

Those travellers must have two doses of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive.

All others arriving by air will still have to stay in hotel quarantine for up to three days pending a negative arrival test, and then quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14-day period.

Children who aren’t vaccinated will be able to return home with their parents, but must quarantine there for two weeks and take a second test eight days after arriving home.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government is also ending the ban on incoming flights from Pakistan but is extending the flight ban for flights from India for at least another month.

The ban was enacted in April when too many people arriving from those countries were testing positive for COVID-19.