While cautioning that the pandemic isn't over in Canada, the federal government nonetheless will no longer require people entering the country to show proof of coronavirus vaccination—or meet any of the other COVID conditions that have been in place. The health minister said new variants being brought in are no longer involved in the changes in the virus within Canada's borders, the CBC reports. The strain on the health care system now is "almost entirely driven by domestic transmission of COVID-19," Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday. "That's where we need to invest our energy." The change takes effect Saturday.
In addition, visitors will not have to wear masks on planes and trains, isolate and quarantine, or undergo any COVID testing, per the BBC. The nation is "in a much better position" than it was when the rules took effect, Duclos said. Deaths from COVID are falling, and about 82% of the population has had two doses of vaccine. But Canadians are still dying of the disease—about 32 each day—and Duclos said the changes shouldn't be taken to suggest there's no more danger. "If anybody believes the pandemic is over, I invite them to visit a hospital," he said. (Among those who have been kept out by the rules are ballplayers.)