Canada lifts Covid travel restrictions
Filipino Canadians in the immigration industry welcomed the recent lifting of Covid-related travel restrictions in Canada and saw it as a way of helping travelers deal with the challenges that come with moving to a new country.
As of Oct. 1, 2022, travelers to Canada no longer need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The government also made the wearing of mask on planes and trains optional, though it is still recommended.
Anyone entering the country is no longer subject to random mandatory tests for the virus, and those who are unvaccinated also no longer need to undergo the mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
All travelers also do not need to fill out the ArriveCan app anymore, although they can still use it to fill out their customs declarations at certain airports.
For an owner of a school offering programs for international students in Canada, the new development is a big help in handling the stress in their preparations.
“That would ease some of their worries as they are preparing to come to Canada. The emotional and financial preparation is causing a lot of stress to them already plus the uncertainty of what the future in Canada would be as well. Lifting these restrictions would somehow would eliminate some of their worries,” said Abby Villanueva, owner of Alberta-based AGA Academy, that offers programs to prepare students for jobs in business administration, community work, marketing, travel, tourism and more.
Aside from international students, new immigrants are also going to benefit from the easing of the restrictions, according to immigration consultant Jeric Mendoza, a multi-awarded Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and President of J. Mendoza & Associates Canada Immigration Consulting Group based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
“The removal of most, if not all of Covid19-related travel restrictions, is a welcome development to any traveler to Canada. For visitors, international students or new immigrants to Canada, it’s nerve-racking enough to go through the border of the country no matter how legitimate their purpose is. The travel anxiety even got worse mainly due to these restrictions, not because people didn’t want to follow them, but because these rules changed all the time,” Mendoza said. “The lifting of these restrictions is an important step in bringing Canada back to normalcy, whatever that means post-pandemic.”
Federal ministers announced the lifting of COVID-19 health restrictions last week, saying the latest wave of the disease has largely passed and travel-related cases aren’t having a major impact.
But Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos warned restrictions could be brought back again if they are needed, according to a report by ctvnews.ca.
In a press release issued last September 28, Statistics Canada said Canada’s population grew by a record 703,404 people (+1.8%) to reach an estimated 38,929,902 on July 1, 2022.
This 2021/2022 record surpasses the preceding high observed a year before the COVID-19 pandemic (2018/2019), when the population grew by 536,146 people (+1.4%).
“After a year of record low growth early in the pandemic (+0.6% in 2020/2021), Canada’s population growth rate in 2021/2022 (+1.8%) reached a level that has not been seen in more than 50 years (+1.9% since 1965/1966), when the country was witnessing the end of the Baby Boom,” its statement added.
It also said that the vast majority of this growth (93.5%) was due to international migration as a result of the easing of COVID-19 border restrictions, increased immigration targets by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and, to a lesser extent, people coming to Canada following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Canada welcomed 492,984 immigrants in 2021/2022 and saw an increase in the number of non-permanent residents (+205,238), both of which are record highs since comparable records became available in 1971/1972 or 50 years ago.