Fully vaccinated Americans will be able to visit Canada for non-essential reasons as of August 9, without quarantine and accompanied by their unvaccinated children. A privilege that will extend to tourists from all over the world after Labor Day, September 7, if the health situation is still under control.

After 506 days of closure, the world’s longest land border between two countries will open, but on one side. The federal government announced Monday that it will accept the arrival of citizens and permanent residents of the United States in three weeks, provided they have received all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine licensed in Canada at least. 14 days before their departure.

This one-sided welcome is not, for the moment, imitated by the Biden government for Canadians wishing to travel south of the border by car. However, this country has never blocked Canadian air travelers. This new easing of the US border is presented by the Trudeau government as an important step in preparing for the arrival of travelers from all countries on September 7.

Fully vaccinated tourists will still have to comply with certain rules put in place during the pandemic, such as presenting a negative test for COVID-19 carried out less than three days before their departure and registering on the ArriveCan portal. They will have to upload their proof of vaccination, in English or French, or an official translation. The entry rules will be the same at the land border as at the airports.

Since March 2020, Canada has been extending the closure of its borders from one month to another. For the moment, it only authorizes the entry of its citizens and permanent residents, members of their immediate family or those who travel for essential reasons. There are no plans at this time to allow any other non-vaccinated – or semi-vaccinated – foreign citizen into Canada.

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Last week, France called on the Trudeau government to reopen its borders, while Canadians have been able to travel to European Union countries since early July, whether or not they are vaccinated.

Open to families

Foreign tourists won’t be the only ones to see their vacation plans made easier for the end of the summer. Children under 12, who cannot be vaccinated for the moment, will also be able to avoid quarantine from August 9 if they accompany their vaccinated parents. This will facilitate the family trip, which until now had to provide 14 days of quarantine for their unvaccinated children, but will not free them from all constraints.

For example, children returning to Canada will be prohibited from attending a school, daycare center or summer camp, like any other place where they must be part of a group, for a period of two weeks. Families should also refrain from taking children to tourist activities that involve gatherings. It will be the responsibility of the parents to adequately plan the first two weeks in the country of their little ones.

End of quarantine at the hotel

Additionally, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to undergo a second COVID-19 test upon arrival, unless they are randomly selected by officers. This measure also comes into force on August 9.

This date also marks the end of the three night compulsory stay in a hotel licensed by the government for unvaccinated travelers arriving by air. Apart from gaining the right to sleep at home upon arrival, the rules remain unchanged for passengers who refuse the vaccine, including the 14-day quarantine.

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As of July 5, fully vaccinated travelers no longer had to do compulsory quarantine. The federal government is preparing a quarantine relief for people whose health does not allow full vaccination. Details are to be announced in the coming days.

Eventually, international flights will be able to land at more airports in the country. As of August 9, airlines will be able to resume landing their planes from abroad at the Jean-Lesage Airport in Quebec City and Macdonald-Cartier in Ottawa, as well as at the international airports in Edmonton, Winnipeg and from Halifax.

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