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The Canada U.S. Border is Open(ing)

The Canada U.S. Border is Open(ing)

Here are the 8 things you'll need to do before visiting Canada.

As of August 9th, fully vaccinated Americans can travel to Canada. Here's an 8-step guide for Americans crossing into the country by land and air.

Canada will be allowing American citizens and permanent residents who are currently residing in the United States, entry into Canada for non-essential travel, which includes tourism, as of August 9, 2021.

More details will be coming soon so check the Government of Canada site for updates and official requirements.

Here are 8 things you need to do before travelling to Canada.

1.  Get Fully Vaccinated & Bring Proof

To be eligible to enter Canada, American citizens and permanent residents must be fully vaccinated and have received the full series of a vaccine—or combination of vaccines— recognized by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. 

Currently, the recognized vaccines are those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country. 

Have a paper or digital copy of your vaccination documentation along with the original to show a government official on request. Upload the digital documentation to the ArriveCAN app (see below). 

Those who have had COVID-19 previously but who are not fully vaccinated are not eligible for entry. A doctor's note is not an accepted piece of documentation. 

Please Note

A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. 

2.  Get an Accepted COVID-19 Test 

You must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test (it must be a PCR test and NOT an antigen also known as a "rapid" test) completed within 72 prior to arriving in Canada. Upload the digital documentation to the ArriveCAN app (see below). Refer to the Government of Canada’s website above for the types of accepted tests.

You must present an accepted test result (paper or electronic proof) which must include:

  • Traveller name and date of birth
  • Name and address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
  • The date on which the test was conducted
  • The type of test conducted (it must be a PCR test)
  • The test result

At this time, travellers should have their test performed at a reputable laboratory or testing facility (i.e., one recognized by the local government or accredited by a third party, such as a professional organization or international standards organization).

Many pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics, including Walgreens offer free testing. Make sure you request a PCR test that's valid for travel, as many places also offer tests that are not valid for entry to Canada. 

Please note

It must be a PCR test. Antigen tests also known as "rapid" tests are not accepted.

3.  Submit Your Information via ArriveCAN 

ArriveCAN is free and secure and is the official Government of Canada platform to provide mandatory travel information when entering Canada. It is available to download as a mobile app or you can create an account and sign in online.

*Each individual* in your party needs to submit their own information.

This must be done within 72 hours before their arrival to Canada.

Once you submit your information through ArriveCAN a receipt will be displayed and emailed to you. You can show the receipt to a Canadian border services officer when you enter the country.

4.  Have a Back-Up Quarantine Plan 

There will be no quarantine requirement when you enter Canada. However, just in case something unforeseen happens, have a back-up 14 day quarantine plan.  This information is requested when you submit your ArriveCAN information. 

A quarantine plan includes an address of where you will perform your quarantine. 

5.  Don’t Worry About a COVID-19 Test upon Arrival

You do not need to be tested upon arrival, but there will be a random testing program in place at the border. Therefore, if you are randomly selected you will be subject to a COVID-19 test.

If you test positive after a random COVID test you will be denied entry to Canada or you may be offered the option of quarantining at your destination within Canada. Border officers will give you instructions on what is required of you during quarantine. This quarantine is enforceable by law and you may be subject to random checks by enforcement officers either in person or over the phone. 

6.  Make Sure You Have No COVID-19 Symptoms upon Arrival 

Before you leave to travel to Canada and when you arrive at the border, make sure you have no COVID-19 symptoms. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • feeling very unwell

7.  Be Prepared to Follow A Few Public Health Measures 

Upon entry into Canada, be prepared to follow some public health measures such as:

  • wearing a mask when indoors in public
  • monitoring yourself for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • keeping a list of close contacts and locations visited for 14 days after you enter Canada

8.  Follow Additional Strict Public Health Measures If You Are Bringing Unvaccinated Children Under The Age Of 12 Years 

Entry will be allowed to unvaccinated children under 12 years of age, or unvaccinated dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition), who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently residing in the U.S. and who are accompanying a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor who either has a right to enter Canada (e.g. Canadian citizens and permanent residents), is a U.S. citizen and permanent resident currently residing in the U.S, or is otherwise is permitted entry under the US Prohibition on Entry Order made under the Quarantine Act. 

These children must follow strict public health measures. This means they can move around with their parents but must avoid group settings—such as camps or daycares— during the first 14 days after their arrival.  

Unvaccinated children will remain subject to the Day 1 and Day 8 testing requirements.  

They must also meet all other required criteria, including submitting information electronically through ArriveCAN and all testing requirements. 

More details will be provided by the Government of Canada in the coming days.

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