Canada lifts nonessential foreign travel advisory, Ontario to drop COVID restrictions by March

The lifted restrictions in Ontario will include mask and vaccine requirements.

Updated: December 29, 2021 - 1:16pm

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Canada has ended its advisory against nonessential foreign travel for citizens, due to the success of COVID-19 vaccination in the country, according to the chief medical officer.

Ontario is looking to lift all restrictions by March 2022.

The travel advisory was issued in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Reuters reported.

"The beginnings of the transition away from the more blanket approach really recognizes vaccines are very effective at preventing severe outcome," Chief Medical Officer Theresa Tam said in a briefing, according to the news outlet.

Almost 82% of all Canadians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have received it.

According to the latest data, Tam said there is "a continued decline in disease activity nationally and in most jurisdictions."

"Now is not the time to just freely go wherever," she added, noting that some countries have high cases of COVID-19.

Canadians are still advised to avoid cruise ship travel outside the country.

Following the announcement, the most populous province in Canada, Ontario, provided a timeline to lift all COVID-19 restrictions by March 2022, including mask mandates and proof of vaccination, Reuters reported.

The first restriction to be lifted in the province is capacity limits for the "vast majority" of public venues, starting Oct. 25.

However, the timeline will depend on "the absence of concerning (pandemic) trends," according to a statement by the province.

"This plan is built for the long term," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said, according to the news outlet. "It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don't lose the hard-fought gains we have made."

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