Canadian Borders Reopening for Vaccinated American Tourists

After nearly one year and a half, all fully vaccinated Americans can enter Canada again. The Canadian government also plans to open the borders to other countries soon.
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On August 9, 2021, after nearly one year and a half, Canadian borders were re-opened for the Americans and U.S. permanent residents traveling to Canada for tourism purposes. However, there?s one condition: Visiting Canada is possible only for those Americans who have taken a full series of a COVID-19 vaccination at least 2 weeks before their entry to Canada.

The Canadian government has been under great pressure to allow American citizens to reunite with their relatives residing in Canada. It is a first step to reinforce tourism too.

The country also  plans to open its borders to other nationalities on September 7, 2021 (the date may change depending on the pandemic situation). Even though the Canadian borders have never been closed for commercial traffic, nonessential trips to Canada  were forbidden since March 2021. 

The requirements for U.S citizens to enter Canada

Quarantine and PCR test

Fully vaccinated Americans traveling to Canada are no longer subjected to quarantine. An obligation to take a PCR test before arriving in Canada is still in force. In contrast, PCR tests will now be taken randomly upon arrival in the country (which used to be mandatory for all visitors). 

COVID-19 Vaccination Proof

The Canadian government approves only 4  manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccination. American visitors to Canada need to be fully vaccinated with one of the following:
- Pfizer-BioNTech
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
- Moderna
- AstraZeneca/Covishield

Travelers need to provide a vaccination certificate (in English or French) or certified translation along with the original proof of vaccination.

ArriveCAN

ArriveCAN for Canada is an online solution introduced due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to control the spread of the virus among travelers. It is an online health form that every fully vaccinated foreign traveler arriving in Canada must obtain prior to the trip. The form is obligatory for all travelers coming to Canada by air or land border crossing points, while it is also highly recommended for those entering Canada by sea. 

It is extremely important to fill out the ArriveCAN form maximally 72 hours before arrival in Canada

When filling the ArriveCan, it is necessary to provide such details as information about the Canadian trip (date of entry, number of flights, entry port, purpose of their trip). ArriveCAN also requires contact details, COVID-19 PCR test results, vaccination proof, as well as a list of countries a traveler has been to during the last 14 days (transit trips not included).

Other requirements

- have no symptoms of COVID-19 upon entry to Canada
- have a physical or electronic copy of vaccination proof (either in English or French)
- have prepared a quarantine plan (just in case they are randomly selected for PCR test after arrival and positively tested)

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

The Canadian government introduced in 2016 some new regulations for countries that can travel to Canada visa-free. Since then, citizens of all visa-exempt countries need to apply for eTA before coming to Canada. The introduction of the electronic visa system enables getting an obligatory permit entirely online without visiting the Canadian Embassy.  

U.S. citizens or U.S.permanent residents do not need to obtain eTA to travel to Canada!

Other important information

  • Children traveling to Canada with their parents or legal guardians (fully vaccinated) do not need to have quarantine. Nevertheless, they are obliged to obey public health measures, including avoiding group settings for the first 2 weeks after arriving in Canada.
  • Unvaccinated children who enter Canada are still obliged to be tested against COVID-19 (on the 1st and 8th day of their stay in the country).
  • Some Canadian provinces may have more strict rules regarding COVID-19 protective measures. For more information, check the official government website.
  • Even though fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine, a quarantine plan is obligatory for all crossing the Canadian borders. 
  • It is no longer mandatory  to stay for the first three nights in a government-approved  accommodation in Canada.
  • Before your trip, check which Canadian airports currently operate the flights from the U.S.
  • Make sure that you have taken a complete dose of your vaccination, and the manufacturer is one of those approved by the  Canadian government.
Katarzyna Żyła
2021-08-17

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