Aug 9, 2021 - Health

Canada opens borders to vaccinated Americans

A duty free store at the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec, Canada, in September 2020.

A duty free store at the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec, Canada, in September 2020. Photo: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Canadian government announced Monday that it will begin allowing Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and have recently tested negative for the virus to enter the country for nonessential travel.

Why it matters: It's a step toward normalcy on the U.S.-Canadian border, which has been closed for nonessential travel since March 2020, though the U.S. is still restricting travel from Canada until at least late August.

  • Travelers must register their travel information, including vaccination status and a negative COVID-19 test, within three days of arrival, with the ArriveCAN app before crossing.

What they're saying: "Canadians' safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures," Patty Hajdu, Canada's minister of health, said in a statement.

  • "A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely," she added.

The big picture: The Canadian government said it reduced restrictions because of rising vaccination rates and falling case numbers, though it stressed that travel regulations are subject to change as the pandemic continues.

  • It is still advising Canadians to avoid nonessential travel outside of Canada.

Go deeper: Border agents reach deal before Canada's reopening with U.S.

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