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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

Canada's Grand Re-opening: What you Need to Know to Go

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Finally! The long-awaited news has been announced: our neighbor to the north will welcome vaccinated residents of the U.S. on August 9. Canada’s closed borders have frustrated travelers since March of 2020. As announced earlier this week, visitors will need to present their vaccination certificates as well as a negative molecular test taken within 72 hours in order to enter the country by land or air, but will not be required to quarantine upon arrival. Additionally, beginning September 7, Canada will reopen to fully vaccinated leisure travelers from all countries.

But wait…there’s more. According to The Department of Homeland Security, land borders with Canada (and Mexico, by the way), will remain restricted to entering travelers until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 21. This also applies to ferry travel. Travelers from Canada and Mexico have been allowed to fly into the U.S. with proof of a negative coronavirus test or recovery from COVID-19 – a requirement before boarding any international flight to the U.S. that went into effect in January. Cruises are not yet permitted to enter Canadian waters, but the country's ban on cruise ships with more than 100 passengers is set to end Nov. 1. So, the delay until Aug 21 presents no change in the status quo for these travelers.

What do you need to know about travel to and from Canada? As it stands at the time of this writing (and I can't emphasize that enough!):

1. Travelers will need to be fully vaccinated. American travelers wanting to visit Canada by land, air or water must complete a COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to entry.

2. Everyone needs to get a negative COVID test. All travelers, regardless of COVID vaccination status, will need to show proof of a COVID-19 molecular test– such as a PCR test – to enter. Fully vaccinated travelers will not need to take a post-arrival test unless they are randomly selected to do so.

3. Bring COVID vaccine card/documentation. Travelers must show proof of COVID vaccination in either English, French or with a certified translation.Airlines will be verifying passengers’ vaccination status through the ArriveCAN app or website before passengers board their flights. Those driving across the border must also use ArriveCAN before departing. Information must be submitted within 72 hours before arrival.

4. Children who are exempted will be allowed entry. Children under the age of 12 and unvaccinated dependent children will be allowed to enter the country with a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, tutor or guardian who is eligible to enter Canada.

People with health conditions that prevent them from becoming fully vaccinated can also qualify for eased quarantine and testing requirements but must follow a modified quarantine.

Keep in mind you may run into other COVID travel restrictions, as this is still a fluid situation. Travelers will be required to follow a number of public health measures, including monitoring for signs of COVID-19 and keeping a copy of COVID vaccine documentation and test results 14 days after entry. There are still mask requirements in certain provinces, and it is still required for air travel, regardless of your vaccination status. Other provisions like capacity limits for public spaces, access to visitor facilities and services, submittal of a travel form are still in force, depending on the province.

Airlines are gearing up for the increase in passenger traffic. Beginning August 9, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at nine Canadian airports:

· Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

· Toronto Pearson International Airport

· Calgary International Airport

· Vancouver International Airport.

· Halifax Stanfield International Airport

· Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

· Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport

· Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

· Edmonton International Airport

In my next article, I’ll write more about some of the destinations we’ve missed in Canada.

‘til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you don't have the time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are simply longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder


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