Monday, September 27, 2021

Canada and Abu Dhabi are now open for fully vaccinated travellers

This week, both Canada and Abu Dhabi eased restrictions for fully-vaccinated travellers, so get your clients to the nearest vaccine hub, stat!

Canada officially opened its international borders to fully-vaccinated travellers who meet entry requirements on Tuesday, the day after Abu Dhabi lifted quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers as well as unvaccinated travellers from ‘green list’ countries.

According to Destination Canada, local travel agents are being inundated with enquiries from excited Aussies, eager to plan their ski holidays, visit family and friends, and use travel credits pending since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If Australia keeps up its vaccine momentum, we will be on track to reach an 80 per cent vaccination rate for those aged 16 and over around 23 November 2021 and 90 per cent around 12 December 2021.

Which is perfect timing,  considering Qantas’ promise to offer flights from Sydney to Vancouver three times per week from 20 December 2021.

Air Canada has also said it will begin flying four times per week between Sydney and Vancouver from 15 December onwards.

To travel to Canada, fully-vaccinated travellers will need to wait for 14 days after they have had their second dose of an approved vaccine such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson, present a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours old, and be prepared for random testing on arrival.

The Canadian government is encouraging travellers and agents to be fully informed of the pre-entry and on-arrival public health and testing requirements both federally and provincially, including the mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app.

To travel to Abu Dhabi, fully-vaccinated travellers will need to register their international vaccination certificate or vaccination exemption document five days before their travel date via the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) Smart app or via ica.gov.ae website.

“Abu Dhabi has implemented world-class COVID-19 safety procedures and an accelerated vaccination program, which has seen a 90 per cent vaccination rate in the UAE capital,” Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, said.

“These precautionary measures have enabled us to protect our citizens, residents and visitors. We look forward to welcoming back international travellers from around the world, to experience the wide and unique offerings our beautiful emirate has to offer.”

The Louvre, Abu Dhabi

Vaccinated travellers will still need to show a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before departure and take another PCR test on arrival, but will no longer need to quarantine.

On 20 August, Abu Dhabi implemented a ‘Green Pass’ protocol enabling only those that are fully vaccinated, officially exempted or under 16 years of age to access key public places and attractions.

Travellers can use the destination’s Alhosn app to prove their ‘green’ status, which will recognise and automatically synchronise travellers international vaccination or exemption certifications that are uploaded on the ICA App or website, as part of the registration process.

Australia recently extended its ban to at least 17 December 2021 ,and we at Travel Weekly have got our fingers and toes crossed in hopes that the end date will stick this time.

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