OTTAWA, Ontario (WOOD) — For the first time since March 2020, Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. tourists Monday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the move to ease border restrictions in mid-July. The plan calls for mandatory randomized COVID-19 testing of fully vaccinated travelers at designated ports of entry.
Under the new rules, U.S. visitors will be required to:
- Have their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine administered at least 14 days earlier
- Have a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test result no more than 72 hours before their arrival, or a positive test 14-180 days before their visit (antigen tests are not accepted)
- Show no symptoms of COVID-19
- Submit mandatory personal information, including proof of vaccination, via ArriveCAN within 72 hours of border travel, starting after an Aug. 9 update to the online platform
- Carry a paper or electronic copy of their proof of vaccination during entry and the two weeks thereafter
- Be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
- Take a COVID-19 test on arrival, if selected for randomized testing
The new guidelines eliminate mandatory quarantines for parents of unvaccinated children ages 12 and younger, but they must follow “enhanced public health measures.” Unvaccinated children ages 5 and older will still be required to take a COVID-19 test on the first and eighth day of their visit.
Starting Monday, U.S. citizens who are not fully vaccinated but are residents of the border towns Hyder, Alaska; Northwest Angle, Minn. and Point Roberts, Wash. will also be allowed into neighboring Canadian communities only for “everyday functions.”
Canadian border officials warn everyone’s trip over the border may take longer because of the COVID-19 checks.
Canada plans to allow fully vaccinated non-essential travelers from any country on Sept. 7, as long as the country’s COVID-19 case rate remains reasonably low and travelers follow entry requirements.
Each month the border was closed cost $1.5 billion, according to estimates from the U.S. Travel Association.
In 2019, before the pandemic, 15 million of Canada’s 22 million foreign visitors came from the United States, country officials said.