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US-Canada border re-opening: it’s complicated

Despite the threat of long line-ups and confusing processes, traffic at many US-Canadian border crossings was reported as steady on August 9th.  Photo: File photo, Mike Murchison for RWN

Are you allowed to enter Canada? Click the flag to find out:

Border opens for fully vaccinated travellers – ArriveCAN required

On August 9, 2021, Canada began allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.

“The border was pretty clogged up,” said one Niagara Fall business who owner. “The bridge was lined up and slow; most of the license plates I saw around downtown were from out-of-province, but in Canada. I did not see many American plates. Maybe they were all stuck at Customs.”

Subject to limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test.

There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

You can read the full , detailed media release here.