Canada has announced that visitors from the United States will once again be able to enter the country from August 9, 2021 — if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Foreign nationals have been prohibited from entering the country for non-essential reasons for around 16 months, as part of Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
Now, the Great White North is preparing to reopen its borders to international travel, starting with its neighbors to the south. The country will initially welcome visitors from the US (including American citizens and foreign residents living in the States).
Canada is expected to open to vaccinated foreigners from other parts of the world in September. This may change depending on how the pandemic situation unfolds during August.
Fully vaccinated travelers will also benefit from other reduced restrictions upon entering Canada.
Perhaps most notably, Canadian authorities have stated that the previous quarantine requirement will be lifted for immunized passengers. According to government sources, “Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine.”
Will the Canadian Border Open in 2021?
The latest news from Canada indicates that the border with the US will reopen to non-essential travel on August 9, 2021. US citizens and foreign residents will be able to cross the border by land or fly from the United States to Canada from this date.
The Canadian border will remain closed to other foreign visitors for at least another few weeks.
From September 7, 2021, Canada has announced that it will welcome travelers from other parts of the world for non-essential travel. The statement from the government said that this would be the case as long as the “COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable”.
The border will be open only to those who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Canada.
It is unknown when Canada will open its borders completely to unvaccinated travelers.
Certain foreign nationals are already able to enter Canada with a PCR test if the reason for traveling is deemed essential or if they meet certain criteria.
Conditions for Visiting Canada
From August 9, 2021, the following groups will be able to enter Canada for non-essential reasons, such as on vacation:
- US citizens
- Foreign residents of the US
There are 3 main conditions that these travelers must meet in order to be able to visit Canada:
- Receive the last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days beforehand
- Test negative for COVID-19 via a molecular test
- Register details and submit test result and vaccination information with ArriveCAN
It is expected that these conditions will apply to all foreign visitors from September 7, 2021, when travel from other parts of the world is scheduled to restart.
Travelers will also have to fulfil the usual entry requirement of having a valid Canadian eTA or visa.
Vaccines accepted by Canada
Travelers from America may only enter Canada if they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before they arrive.
The following types of coronavirus vaccine are accepted by Canadian border authorities:
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
Other vaccines, such as Sputnik or Sinovac, are currently not accepted for entry by Canada.
Unvaccinated children under 12 may also visit Canada if traveling with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.
Arrivals must bring proof of their vaccination.
Vaccinated Travelers to Avoid Quarantine?
Starting from August 9, the current requirement to quarantine at a hotel for 3 days after arrival in Canada will be removed for fully vaccinated travelers.
This means that Americans taking a vacation to the Great White North may do so without having to quarantine.
However, all international arrivals are still required to provide a quarantine plan. This is in case they show symptoms of COVID-19 between departure and arrival or do not meet the necessary requirements on arrival.
Fully vaccinated travelers also do not need to take a test on arrival, unless they are selected at random.
Is the US Border Open to Canadians?
Although Canada is preparing to welcome American visitors, it appears that the US government is not yet ready to return the favor. Only essential travel is currently permitted in the other direction.
The US border policy will next be reviewed on August 21, 2021.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, America is in “constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.”
Regarding Canada’s decision to reopen its borders, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said: “we look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.”