Canada reopens to American tourists: your guide before you go

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(CNN) – It’s been a long time, neighbor.

The Canadian government has banned Americans from making non-essential travel there since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But that will change on Monday, August 9, when Canada reopens its borders to leisure travel from its neighbors to the south.

In a press release issued on July 19, the Public Health Agency of Canada said the easing of those restrictions was taking place due to “rising vaccination rates and declining cases of Covid-19”.
As of August 7, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed Canada in “Level 3: High” for the Covid-19. Level 4 is the highest warning.

Here’s a question-and-answer guide to help Americans cross the border smoothly for a vacation if you choose to go:

Question: Who will be eligible for non-essential travel to Canada starting Monday?

US citizens and permanent residents must be fully immunized to enter Canada.

Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

Reply: Entry will be permitted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the United States, traveling from the United States, and who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.

To be considered fully vaccinated, travelers must have received the full series of a Covid-19 vaccine – or a combination of vaccines – accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days before entering Canada.

Currently, these vaccines are manufactured by:

– Pfizer-BioNTech
– Moderna
– AstraZeneca / Covishield
– Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Travelers must provide proof of vaccination in English or French (or a certified translation, with the original) for both doses, if applicable. Travelers can get vaccinated in any country.

Question: Where can they enter Canada?

A traveler collects a Covid-19 home collection kit from Toronto Pearson International Airport on July 5, 2021.

A traveler collects a Covid-19 home collection kit from Toronto Pearson International Airport on July 5, 2021.

Zou Zheng / Xinhua via Getty Images

Reply: Flights from the United States will be able to land from August 9 at Canadian airports that include:

– Calgary International Airport
– Edmonton International Airport
– Halifax Stanfield International Airport
– Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
– Ottawa / Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
– Quebec City Jean-Lesage International Airport
– Toronto Pearson International Airport
– Vancouver International Airport
– Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

Fully vaccinated Americans can also enter Canada through a number of land border crossings.

Question: What will the entry requirements be?

Reply: Fully vaccinated travelers should submit Covid-19 information electronically in ArrivalCAN, the official Canadian government app that you use to provide mandatory travel information when entering Canada. It must be entered within 72 hours before arrival. Travelers without a smartphone can submit information to Canada.ca/ArrivalCAN and print the receipt.

Travelers must also meet pre-entry testing requirements.

All travelers 5 years of age or older must show proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test result performed within 72 hours of arrival in Canada or present proof of a positive Covid-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 180 days, starting August 9. , before their arrival.

This is the US-Canadian border crossing at Niagara Falls.

This is the US-Canadian border crossing at Niagara Falls.

Peter Power / The Canadian Press via AP

In addition, travelers should also:

– Be asymptomatic on arrival
– Have a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination in English or French
– Have an appropriate quarantine plan, should quarantine be necessary.

The final determination of entry eligibility and quarantine requirements will be made by a government official at the border, based on information presented upon entry into Canada.

Thanks to a new monitoring program for border tests at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travelers will not need testing after arrival, unless they have been randomly selected to perform a Day 1 Covid-19 molecular test. However, all travelers to Canada must still meet pre-arrival testing requirements.

Question: Will Americans have to self-quarantine when they arrive in Canada?

Reply: 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 themselves in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

They should also be prepared in case they learn that someone they have traveled with or to whom they have been exposed is testing positive on arrival.

Question: Will Americans have to stay in a government approved hotel?

Reply: No. The government-authorized three-night hotel stay requirement will be waived for all travelers arriving by air on August 9.

Question: Can my unvaccinated children enter Canada with me?

Reply: Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 traveling with fully vaccinated parents and / or guardians will no longer have to carry out a 14-day quarantine, but will have to follow enhanced public health measures.

This means that they can travel with their parents but should avoid group places, such as camps or daycare centers, for the first 14 days after arrival.

Unvaccinated children will still need to take a Covid-19 test on day 1 and day 8.

A day 1 test means a test on the day you arrive. However, not all land border crossings have on-site testing. Depending on where you are crossing, you may have the option of getting tested there or being handed a test kit to do at home under the supervision of a nurse via a video call.

Provinces and territories may have stricter rules for people who have recently returned from travel.

Question: Do individual provinces, territories or cities have their own rules?

Question: How busy will popular Canadian tourist destinations be once Americans can cross the border on vacation?

Turquoise Moraine Lake in Banff National Park is nothing short of stunning.

Turquoise Moraine Lake in Banff National Park is nothing short of stunning.

Shutterstock

Reply: Historically, the United States has been Canada’s largest inbound market, with nearly 15 million arrivals in 2019.

Tourists are expected to return not only to major Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Quebec and Montreal, but also to Canadian natural wonders such as:

— Niagara Falls
– Banff National Park in Alberta
– The Northern Lights in the Northwest Territories
– The 23 beaches of Prince Edward Island
– The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, home to the highest tides in the world.

Question: Will cheap airline tickets be available to American tourists?

Air Canada has announced more than 200 daily flights to the United States.

Air Canada has announced more than 200 daily flights to the United States.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Reply: Third-party booking sites such as Expedia have many options for airline tickets.

In addition, Air Canada has just announced a new transborder program of 55 routes and 34 destinations in the United States, representing up to 220 daily flights between the two countries.

Question: What will happen to these new regulations if the Delta variant or other newer variants of Covid-19 continue to spread?

Reply: As the evidence and epidemiological situations evolve in Canada and around the world, further adjustments to border measures may be considered by the Government of Canada.

Top image: The Canadian flag (Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images)


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