Canadians 'may' be able to travel to U.S. for vaccines without quarantine on return

Canadians who want to get vaccinated in Detroit might be able to do so without having to quarantine upon reentry to Canada.

Windsor Regional Hospital's CEO wrote to officials seeking clarity on the issue

The Detroit skyline is seen in a 2019 photo. (Carlos Osorio/The Associated Press)

If Canadians were to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Detroit, they might be able to do so without having to quarantine upon reentry to Canada.

That's according to a letter sent from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj.

Musyj, who is one of a number of local officials pushing for Canadians to gain access to U.S. vaccines, wrote to the federal agency requesting a ruling on whether getting a vaccine would be considered receiving an "essential medical service or treatment" under the current emergency measures at the border.

Receiving such services is one of the reasons a traveller could be exempt from the two week-quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements laid ut by the federal government. 

In a follow up note to PHAC, Musyj indicated that a large health-care institution in Detroit is interested in providing vaccines to Canadians. 

David Musyj, CEO Windsor Regional Hospital (CBC)

PHAC told Musyj that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would be considered essential, and if Canadian travellers meet certain requirements, they "may" be exempt from the re-entry requirements.

The exception would be in place for a traveller as well as a support person, and they must arrive in a private vehicle with a letter from a health-care professional indicating that the treatments are essential, as well as written evidence from a professional on the other side of the border stating that the treatment had occurred.

The letter said that the onus is on the traveller to provide the proper documentation, and suggested that no other stops could be made on the trip.

As Musyj pointed out in a note to staff at the hospital, any Canadians entering the U.S. would also be subject to U.S. entry requirements.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?