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Update of the Border Reopening Plan for Canada

To the point

The Canadian government has updated its plan to reopen Canada's borders to fully vaccinated travellers.

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair has announced that fully vaccinated (two doses) American travellers will be admitted for non-essential travel as of August 9. Travellers from other countries will be able to enter Canada as of September 7.

Conditional opening of borders

Following the easing of the conditions of return for Canadian travellers since July 6, Canada continues to remove restrictions. The measure on the closure of the borders with the United States had been extended until July 21.

This new step applies to US citizens and permanent residents. They must have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. If so, they will not need to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

However, all this will be on condition that the epidemiological situation remains favourable.

At the moment, only the airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver accept international customers.

From August 09, 5 additional airports will be able to receive them:

  • Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
  • Ottawa International Airport (YOW)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

Current requirements

Travellers will still need to use the ArriveCAN app or web portal and provide all information prior to arrival in the country. They should have the following requirements:

  • Negative molecular test for COVID-19 (PCR) within 72 hours of flight for travellers over 5 years of age, regardless of citizenship
  • or proof of a positive test for COVID-19 within 14 to 180 days prior to their arrival in Canada;
  • Be asymptomatic;
  • Paper or electronic proof of their double vaccination in English or French;
  • Answer questions from Canadian customs officers if necessary;
  • Have a quarantine plan if these conditions are not accepted.

To be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must have received a full series of a Government of Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of vaccines, at least 14 days before entering Canada.
Vaccines allowed will only be those approved by Health Canada. Right now, here are the accepted COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • COVISHIELD Verity/Serum Institute of India (SII)
  • Janssen

The latter vaccine is given in one dose. People who have received this single dose are considered fully vaccinated.

Canadians traveling to the United States

Canadian citizens and permanent residents travelling to the United States for less than 72 hours will be allowed to complete their pre-entry molecular test before leaving Canada.

The results of this test can be used to re-enter Canada, as long as the traveller returns to Canada within 72 hours of taking the test.

Travellers from the United States to Canada

As of August 9U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, as well as French citizens residing in St. Pierre and Miquelon, who are travelling for discretionary or non-essential purposes may be authorized to travel from the United States to Canada.

They will only receive a receipt from ArriveCAN if they meet the criteria and are fully vaccinated before boarding their flight.

Asof September 7, all other foreign nationals will be able to travel to Canada, provided they meet the criteria and are fully vaccinated.

Quarantine at the hotel and tests on arrival

In addition, the requirement to spend three nights in a government-approved hotel has been waived for all fully vaccinated passengers arriving by air in Canada since August 9.

These travelers will not have to quarantine or test on the eighth day.

Fully vaccinated travellers may not need to be tested on arrival. Only travellers randomly selected for molecular testing for COVID-19 will be required to complete the arrival test (Day 1). If a traveller is selected at random, but refuses to take the test, he or she will be required to quarantine himself or herself and subject to penalties or fines.

Le Gouvernement du Canada

Those who are not vaccinated will be able to go to the quarantine or isolation facility of their choice.

In fact, they will still have a screening test to take on day one and day eight. A home screening kit could be given to them to perform the test(s). You will need to send it to the lab.

Families and children

The Canadian government has set standards for children under 12 years of age entering Canada:

Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine, but will have to follow strict health measures. This includes children traveling from the United States for discretionary purposes. This means that they can travel with their parents, but must avoid group settings – such as summer camps or daycare centres – for the first 14 days after their arrival. Unvaccinated children will need to be tested on day 1 and day 8.

Reopening of the Canadian border
Reopening of the Canadian border

Conclusion

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed since March 2020. After 18 months of closure, we can only rejoice over its reopening for travellers entering Canada.

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