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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.

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.