Canada to re-open border to fully vaccinated American travelers August 9

Local News

OTTAWA, ON (WIVB) — On Monday, August 9, the Canadian government plans to start allowing fully vaccinated American citizens and Canadians living in the states, to enter the country for non-essential travel.

Officials say travelers must use ArriveCAN to submit travel information, and if they are eligible to enter, travelers will not be required to quarantine.

The Canadian government says they will require a pre-entry molecular COVID-19 test result regardless of vaccination status. However, officials tell News 4 on August 9, using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travelers will not need a post-arrival test unless randomly selected.

According to government officials, there is no change to mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers.

“Canadians’ safety and security always come first,” Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said. “With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures. 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.”

The government also says the three-night government-authorized hotel stay requirement for air travel will expire as of 12:01 a.m. on August 9.

While fully vaccinated individuals who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine, officials tell us all travelers must provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine if it’s determined at the border that they do not meet the requirements to enter.

Also, effective August 9, five Canadian airports will join Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport and allow international flights to land in Canada.

Those airports are:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport

Officials say this strategy allows them to monitor COVID-19 in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada,” Minister of Transport Canada Omar Alghabra said. “As a result, today we announced new steps in our re-opening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

Congressman Brian Higgins, who’s been outspoken about the border closure, applauded Monday’s announcement by Canadian government officials:

We have missed you Canada and we are thrilled at the opportunity to return soon. Today’s announcement by the Canadian government puts policy in line with science. This will allow fully vaccinated Americans separated from their families and property in Canada for a year and a half, to be re-united in three weeks. This measure can’t come soon enough.

“It is extremely frustrating that the United States government has failed to reciprocate current family exemptions already allowed by the Canadian government and failed to show a lack of urgency to make any progress on this side of the border toward lifting restrictions. There are logistics to be worked out and questions to be answered certainly, but the U.S. has neglected to give re-opening the Northern Border the serious attention it deserves, and there is no excuse. Failure to coordinate this announcement in a bi-national way will only lead to confusion among travelers. We will continue to push for action by the U.S. government to welcome our Canadian neighbors back.”

Congressman Higgins

Higgins also said he does not support testing requirements for asymptomatic vaccinated travelers. He calls it “redundant and unnecessary.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement on the news Monday afternoon:

“The last 16 months have been extremely challenging for everyone – but they’ve been especially difficult for those individuals who were separated from their friends, family and loved ones and for the businesses along the border that have struggled because of the pandemic.

“With vaccination rates continuing to increase every day in both the U.S. and Canada and infection rates remaining low, we are pleased that the Canadian government is finally reopening its borders to fully vaccinated individuals beginning August 9. An open border with our neighbors to the North means families will be reunited once again and much-needed relief for our border communities that depend on cross-border trade and supply chains. This is a significant step in our state and nation’s recovery, and we must continue our work to get even more New Yorkers fully vaccinated so we can put COVID behind us once and for all.”

For more on travel, testing, quarantine, and borders, click here.

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