For nearly 16 months, Americans have not been able to cross the border into Canada, except for “essential travel” circumstances, and with very strict conditions for travel.
But beginning August 9, fully vaccinated Americans as well as permanent residents who live in the U.S. will be able to get through the border.
Canada closed its borders to all but essential travel from the U.S. in March of 2020, in order to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Travelers from other nations may also be allowed to enter Canada beginning Sept. 7, provided the “COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable,” according to the Canadian government.
Deep dive into details of the opening of Canada:
Starting Aug. 9, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.
Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into just four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
Effective Aug. 9, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport;
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;
- Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
- Edmonton International Airport.
All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry Covid-19 molecular test result. However effective Aug. 9, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travelers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travelers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 Covid-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers.
“This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel,” the government said.
The three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travelers arriving by air as of 12:01 am EDT on Aug. 9. Fully vaccinated travelers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine.
However, all travelers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.
“While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians,” the Canadian government said.