Canada’s Plan To Relax Covid Travel Restrictions Good News For Toronto Film Festival

Canada said Monday that it will begin easing restrictions on travel in and out of the country that have been in place since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic — news that will be welcome to organizers of this fall’s Toronto Film Festival, who have been planning an international event not knowing whether anybody outside the country would be able to attend.

The Canadian government said today that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will be allowed to enter the country beginning at 12:01 a.m. August 9 without having to quarantine for two weeks, as restrictions now mandate. The borders will open to fully vaccinated travelers beginning September 7.

The festival runs September 9-18.

All foreign travelers would have to show proof of vaccination at least two weeks before arriving or they will need to quarantine. The vaccine must be authorized for use in Canada; so far that list includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

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Although the lifting of restrictions depends on continued progress in stopping the virus, that September 7 date comes two days before the kickoff of TIFF, the tastemaker fall festival that has been planning a hybrid in-person/virtual event for its 46th edition. Non-essential border crossings between the U.S. and Canada have been restricted since March 2020 when Covid took hold.

This year’s festival is expected to announced its Gala and Special Presentations lineups Tuesday — perfect timing for news like today’s as noted by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey.

Tomorrow we’ll have more news on this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which opens on Sept. 9….#TIFF21 https://t.co/jCvL5WvFS6

— Cameron Bailey (@cameron_tiff) July 19, 2021

Last month, TIFF primed the pump by setting Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho, Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman and Ted Melfi’s dramedy The Starling among the first official selections of this year. Last year, the event was mostly virtual because of the pandemic.

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