Canada open for international travellers

Good news for medical tourism as the Canada Border Services Agency decides to allow in international travellers. Inbound foreign travellers will still have to meet a set of requirements to enter and avoid quarantine. Both inbound and outbound medical travel flows from Canada are likely to remain low for the remainder of 2021.

Most medical tourism from Canada is outbound, but there is a  volume of cross-border medical tourism to and from US hospitals and Canadian clinics.

However, with the remaining Covid-19 restrictions and the increase in the number of Americans who have Medicare or Medicaid insurance, neither of which cover cross-border treatment, the number of inbound medical tourists to Canada for 2021 is expected to be very low. The national and state governments in Canada are also still opposed to inbound medical tourism, as many provinces oppose private medical care, even for Canadians.

Until all the restrictions on returning to Canada are gone, outbound medical tourism from the country is expected to be low, particularly as Canadians are still wary of the high Covid rates in their favoured destinations of Mexico and the USA.

Despite Canada opening to U.S. travellers, the USA has no date for opening the land border.

Inbound foreign travellers will have to meet a set of requirements to enter Canada and avoid quarantine, including a vaccination certificate, a negative Covid-19 test taken with 72 hours, and all information submitted into the ArriveCAN app.

Travellers must have received the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days before entering.

In addition to the vaccine, all travellers five years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to enter Canada. Antigen tests are not accepted. The test must be taken 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of flight.

Upon entry into Canada, the border services will select people for random arrival tests.

Depending on what part of Canada they are visiting, travellers may need to show proof of vaccination to gain entry to many non-essential locations and activities.

Quebec was the first province to implement vaccine passports, followed by British Colombia. Ontario is also planning to implement a vaccine programme soon.

Additionally, Canada has said that starting soon, all passengers on air carriers, trains, and cruise ships will need to show proof of vaccination to board.