The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is allowing a one-time exemption for vaccinated travellers who may have been unaware of the requirement to submit their mandatory health information via ArriveCAN, according to a statement sent to Global News on Saturday.
This measure was put in place at the land border as of May 2022. It only applies to travellers without a history of non-compliance.
“Vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act, entering Canada, who may have been unaware of the requirement..are exempt from quarantine, testing and fines on a one-time basis,” said Rebecca Purdy, a spokesperson for CBSA, in an e-mail.
As of July 29, Purdy said this exemption has been extended to fully vaccinated foreign nationals entering Canada through a land port of entry.
ArriveCAN was originally launched in April 2020 as a voluntary tool meant to assist border guards in determining eligibility to enter Canada under COVID-19 requirements.
It was made mandatory for all air travellers seven months later. In March 2021, it was expanded to anyone crossing the border by land.
The app collects personal data, such as name, telephone number, address, and vaccination status, which is then used to help public health officials enforce the government’s quarantine rules.
Purdy said that from May 24 to August 4, 2022, of the 5,086,187 land border travellers with a right of entry, the one-time exemption was used 308,800 times.
“After this one-time exemption, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act who do not submit their information through ArriveCAN will be subject to quarantine and testing and may also face fines,” said Purdy.
As for foreign national who do not submit their information in ArriveCAN after their one-time expemtion, Purdy said they will not be allowed to enter Canada.
— With files from Brian Hill