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Canada border opens to vaccinated Americans on August 9th

Hurrah! It is hard to believe just how long this border has been closed. I so look forward to being able to go across the border again.

Posted by
3789 posts

I would still like to know if every province has bought into this, as even Canadians cannot visit every province freely. Americans need to realize they need to comply with provincial as well as country regulations. Personally, I think it will be a mess with actions of resentment and disagreement for a little while. I don't know the view of the 'Atlantic Bubble' this week, but if you plan to drive far, ensure you check frequently.

Posted by
246 posts

At this point it is a one way opening. Canadians are still not allowed to cross the land borders at this time. Not sure if it will be changed any time soon.

As a Canadian I had to apply to visit Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It was easy but one of the questions was have you been outside of Canada in the last 14 days. Not sure how this will work.
As much as I am ready for a Target run I am not sure this will go smoothly.

Posted by
1857 posts

I would still like to know if every province has bought into this, as
even Canadians cannot visit every province freely.

Probably not a shocker, but Alberta is open and ready for business.

Except for high-risk facilities we dropped our mask rules, and fully opened our restaurants and stores 2 weeks ago. The Calgary Stampede wrapped up yesterday and case counts remain low. You're all invited.

Posted by
9777 posts

You will need proof of vaccine and a negative PCR/molecular test taken no more than 72 hours prior to admission.

The question is will Americans returning back to the US after being in Canada also need a negative test to return.

Other international travelers who are vaccinated may enter Canada starting September 7.

Posted by
1398 posts

Americans and others crossing into Canada must also have a demonstrable quarantine plan , just in case they are randomly selected for testing on arrival and are told to quarantine.
They also must have full vaccine status with vaccines approved in Canada...so no Sputnik or other types; just Pfizer, Astra, J and J and Moderna.

Posted by
9777 posts

Starting August 9th as well, air travelers from the US will onlybe allowed to enter Canada at the following airports:

Halifax Stanfield International Airport;

Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport;

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and

Edmonton International Airport.

A Transport Canada official said the department is working with other airports to resume international flights so this list may change by August 9.

Addendum: I got my information from the CBC story but they failed to mention any other airports.

Posted by
1398 posts

Not true, Frank.
This list is now in addition to the four airports that were the only ones allowing international arrivals for the past year, which were Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and I think Montreal.
So we will now have more airports taking international arrivals.
You can all come in, but we still can’t leave!

Posted by
1857 posts

Allan: What's the wildfire and smoke situation in Alberta?

The fires are mainly next door in BC, but the smoke here is terrible. We've barely seen the sun in two days and most youth and adult sports have been cancelled due to poor air quality.

Posted by
551 posts

Thanks for the info Allan. The fires are so horrible. Extreme heat in North America and terrible floods in Northern Europe. Take care everyone.

Posted by
2743 posts

Additional article July 19: "Beginning on Aug. 9, citizens and permanent residents of the United States will be allowed to enter Canada as long as they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before travel, federal government officials said on Monday." https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/07/20/world/covid-variant-vaccine-updates?type=styln-live-updates&label=coronavirus%20updates&index=0&action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage#canada-border-reopening

Posted by
388 posts

We have wildfire smoke haze all the way over here in Vermont. I can't even imagine how horrible things must be out west.

We in Vermont can't wait for the border to be fully open, both ways. Canadian tourism is a big chunk of our economy. It will be nice to see those Canadian license plates back on the roads hopefully soon (although we will still exercise caution around those Quebecois plates -- those drivers are something! :-) ). Plus, many of us with family across the border will finally be able to visit.

My friend texted me yesterday as soon as the news came out. She's ready for a trip to Ikea!

Allan, the Stampede has been a dream trip of mine forever. Maybe next year....

Posted by
1857 posts

Allan, the Stampede has been a dream trip of mine forever. Maybe next
year....

BBQ at my house at 5:00 for anyone who gets here.

Posted by
133 posts

Just made reservations for two nights at the Irish Harp Pub in Niagara on the Lake! Has anyone stayed there, it looks charming from it's website. I'm so glad Canada is opening up, I really wanted to stay on the Canadian side for our short visit to Niagara Falls in October.

Posted by
908 posts

During the past 18 months I've seen two Ontario plates and one Manitoba plate (just last week while driving on I-70 and I-64/I-81). I have no idea who those drivers are, whether they had a special reason to be in the U.S. or have been stuck here the entire time! The Manitoba plate really threw me for a loop! :) Such a change from other summers when Ontario and Quebec plates are common in the mid-Atlantic.

Posted by
388 posts

BBQ at my house at 5:00 for anyone who gets here.

Awesome! I’ll let you know when we’re on our way.

Posted by
2743 posts

Well, August 9th doesn't look like it is going to be the OK date after all. "The Biden administration is extending non-essential travel restrictions for the US northern and southern borders until August 21." ...

A DHS spokesperson cited concerns over the dangerous Delta variant and said the agency is in "constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably."

The restrictions go into effect Thursday [7/22/2021] and remain in effect until August 21, "unless amended or rescinded prior to that time."

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/21/politics/us-canada-mexico-travel/index.html

Posted by
292 posts

So....a hypothetical and looking for an informed reply if such a thing is possible.
After August 9th and before August 21st, if the Canadian border is open to US citizens, and if I, a vaccinated US citizen cross from northern Maine (Lubec) onto Campobello, go to the beach as a day trip, will I be able to return later that day into the US, Lubec?
What steps do I need to take to do this? I know I will need proof of vaccination. Do I need to do an online registration? Will I be allowed to return?

Posted by
7472 posts

What steps do I need to take to do this? I know I will need proof of vaccination. Do I need to do an online registration? Will I be allowed to return?

My understanding ( that and $5 will get you a coffee at SBUX) is that you need to complete the online submission/registration to enter Canada, have proof of vaccination and have a ( current) negative test.

As you plan to be gone just for the day, the negative test that gets you into Canada should still be valid to get you back into the US.

Posted by
9777 posts

Will I be allowed to return?

If you are a U.S. citizen showing up at the US. border, and can prove you are a U.S. citizen, you cannot be denied entry. That's the law. So, legally, you can't be denied entry even if you don't have a negative test because you have shown up at the border.

However, if you decide to fly home then you will have to show a negative test to the airline prior to boarding. All air passengers to the U.S. need a negative test regardless of their nationality.

The interesting sidenote is that most U.S. immigration when traveling by air from Canada is done in Canada. What will happen to that?

Posted by
8222 posts

Our daughter is getting married in Washington in November, the day after my birthday and 4 days before my husband’s. I booked a B&B in Vancouver, BC for after the wedding to celebrate. Fingers crossed the crossing of borders is all sorted out by then. There is a generous cancellation policy, just in case.

Posted by
93 posts

Our family has a house on PEI. We are told to get from our house in Vermont USA to PEI we need Arrivecan as well as the PEI COVID App. Do any of you Canadians have experience with using various apps between provinces?
In Iceland, we have to have our paper Vermont issued COVID Vaccination Card converted to an electronic version. Does anyone know if that electronic version of the Covid-19 card is required to enter Canada and Prince Edward Island or utilize the apps?

Posted by
2743 posts

Looks like Andrea and I are in a similar situation with a family wedding, except in my case it's a more distant relative getting married. My husband and I wanted to visit a dear friend in Victoria, BC for a few days before the wedding in Port Townsend, WA. Oh, and our relative's wedding is in early September.

We live on the US eastern seaboard, so flying to the west coast is expensive for us. My husband is high risk with health issues such that contracting Covid could be very bad news, even though we are both fully vaccinated. Given those concerns on top of not knowing whether or not we'd be able to visit Victoria, we're about 90% done deciding not to go. Alas.

Posted by
3789 posts

@Northern Hemisphere, I can't tell you first hand, but a coworker travelling to PEI has done her PEI app requirements for travel in 2 weeks. She completed it at least a week ago...so it doesn't appear to be time sensitive. Ontario issues a pretty official print out for vaccine dates so it wasn't difficult. You take a photo of the paper vaccination record, upload it...and I recall there is a time delay while they process and either accept or deny your application. Why not give it a try and see how it goes? The PEI tourism website should provide any info whether it will accept ArriveCan instead, but there shouldn't much extra work to just complete both. Of course, depending on your route if driving, you may have to deal with New Brunswick and NS health requirements too. I think NS is a pre completed form.

Posted by
292 posts

It appears that there is now a Canadian border guard strike pending that will affect those planning to enter Canada from the US by car. They have been w/o contract since 2017.
This situation does not seem to be ready to reconcile itself.

Posted by
8222 posts

epitd, I understand your dilemma and it sounds like you made the most logical choice. Since we are on the west coast and driving we can be flexible. And of course we can’t miss our daughter’s wedding. If we decide not to go to Vancouver we may spend a few days in Leavenworth, WA. It looks like a cute German town. I think the key word for 2021 is flexibility.

Posted by
1224 posts

Why Canada is opening up to US tourists at this time does not make sense. Our rate of new Covid cases (on a population basis) here in the US is 17 times that of Canada.

Posted by
31289 posts

Regarding the possible strike by CBSA officers, if it does in fact happen I suspect some portion of them will be declared an "essential service" and they'll have to work anyway. Some positions will be filled temporarily by management personnel. I was involved in these situations several times during my careers and that's often what happens.

Posted by
1857 posts

You're right Ken. I was listening to a radio interview with the local union head and he confirmed they're an essential service. He suggested job action will consist of work to rule which will dramatically slow down the border entry process.

Posted by
292 posts

So, WRT driving by car into Canada for a day-trip after August 9th. It is my current understanding that the following are required:
Proof of vaccination (14 days or more prior) (ArriveCan App account/record)
Wear a face mask
Negative Covid test result from within 3 days of entry
All of the usual ID and entry protocol of the past plus the above.
A selected hotel for quarantine does not appear to be required.
To return the US, will not require a negative test result. How you return through an otherwise closed border remains an unknown, at least to me.
If anyone is aware of any new information please share it.

Posted by
292 posts

After many millions of miles of global travel, hundreds of trips to Canada along the way in over 55 years of adventures, presumably we are capable of making a decision about what is "worthwhile" enough to warrant whatever effort is required to make a day trip to (anywhere) Canada worth our while.
We may be visiting friends or family we have not seen for the last three seasons or taking a long walk on the beach, filling a bucket with fresh caught mackerel, running our canoes in and out of tidal pools or watching the whales sound of the shoreline. Whatever that may be we will certainly be able to make our own decision about that effort....once we know the requirements with some certainty.

A Covid test isn't a big deal in our book and neither are any other requirements we are currently aware of. The conclusion of the border agent contract discussion removes one variable and to the point that the crossings will be insane once things open, that depends upon where you are. There are still places where the borders are a formality with most of the traffic coming from locals coming and going. There are places where you can cross from one side of a river to the other and come and go uninterrupted. It's that way.

Posted by
31289 posts

Some updated information on the CBSA labour dispute.....

After a marathon 30+ hour bargaining session, it looks like the Treasury Board and the Union have reached a tentative settlement. I don't know when the ratification vote will be held but I'm assuming that conditions will be normal on Monday when the border reopens to US travellers.

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/cbsa-employees-agree-to-deal-with-government-ending-day-long-strike-action-1.5536850

Posted by
377 posts

There are still places where the borders are a formality with most of the traffic coming from locals coming and going. There are places where you can cross from one side of a river to the other and come and go uninterrupted. It's that way.

What are some of these places between New England and Montreal, Toronto?

Posted by
1398 posts

Absolutely you are able to come over for the day, but you still need a demonstrable quarantine plan in place, just in case.
This is a Government of Canada directive.

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation/quarantine-start#shr-pg-pnlShrPg

You must also have the ArriveCan app filled in and up to date.

If anyone here is crossing into Canada starting this week, we would all be interested to know how it went at the Border.
Safe traveling, everyone.

Posted by
292 posts

A quarantine plan does not appear to be a requirement if you meet the entry requirements that include a current (within 3 days of arrival) negative test, a completed vaccine sequence at least 14 days ahead of travel and entry of these details into the ArriveCAN app or your online account.
You may open an ArriveCAN account at any time however you cannot schedule entry until you know the specific the 3 day window following a conforming Covid test. For example, I could not schedule entry on the 15th today since I have not had a test yet. Once I do I can schedule in ArriveCAN. To cross on the 15th my test must be done on the 12th.
A quarantine plan is only required if you have failed said test or not met the other requirements. I'm not sure how anyone could come to the crossing without meeting these requirements unless they do plan to spend time in quarantine if they are allowed to enter.

Posted by
7472 posts

August 9, 2021: Border changes

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the United States, who meet specific criteria to qualify as fully vaccinated
September 7 (tentative): All other foreign nationals who qualify as fully vaccinated

The 3-night hotel stopover requirement ends for all travellers scheduled to arrive by air after 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9.

Check if you qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption

As a separate statement:

Before travelling to Canada, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, must make suitable plans for quarantine, within their own means.

Use these questions to find out if your plan is suitable.

When you arrive at the border, you will be asked about your quarantine plan to confirm it meets requirements.

As I read the requirements ( https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation/quarantine-start#shr-pg-pnlShrPg -- from SJ post), the need for a quarantine plan is necessary as a distinct requirement apart from the other requirements to be eligible to enter Canada.

A report from someone who has actually done it would be interesting and helpful.

Posted by
1224 posts

I just read a news report that the wait time at one border crossing was 7 hours.

Posted by
3789 posts

@Bob, I am not surprised if the crossing line ups are 7 hours or even more. It isn't uncommon on a long weekend to be a 1-3 hour delay. Imagine those complicated relationships with spouses or significant other on both sides of the border. I know of one family where groom and his 2 kids wanted to be in line at the border for 12:01 with a wedding planned later in August.
I expect extended line ups for a few more days.

Posted by
1398 posts

What Joe said.
It’s very clear in the regulations that you must demonstrate a plan for quarantine if it becomes necessary.

Lineups today at the nearest Border to where we live were 100’s of cars long; back East they were up to 7 hours long.
It should improve over time, I would think.

Posted by
43 posts

What Joe said.
It’s very clear in the regulations that you must demonstrate a plan for quarantine if it becomes necessary.

Hi, we have read and re-read the website regarding entry into Canada for fully vaccinated US citizens. What’s not clear to us is the quarantine plan. We understand that it is required but we’re not sure what exactly the border agents are looking for. Is it an official form we need to complete, or is it simply showing a reservation with a hotel (or any type of accommodation) for 14 days?
Thank you.

Posted by
1857 posts

What’s not clear to us is the quarantine plan. We understand that it
is required but we’re not sure what exactly the border agents are
looking for. Is it an official form we need to complete, or is it
simply showing a reservation with a hotel (or any type of
accommodation) for 14 days?

I bet the CBSA guards don't even know what is considered an adequate quarantine plan and you'll be at the mercy of the person you talk to. The website is incredibly vague.

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation/quarantine-start#:~:text=Before%20travelling%20to,No

Before travelling to Canada, all travellers, regardless of
citizenship, must make suitable plans for quarantine, within their own
means

Use these questions to find out if your plan is suitable.

When you arrive at the border, you will be asked about your quarantine
plan to confirm it meets requirements.

A suitable quarantine plan helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in
our country, our communities, and our families.

Do you have a place where you can quarantine for 14 days or longer
(air travellers: for after your mandatory hotel stopover). (required)
Yes No

My interpretation you must show a hotel reservation for 14 days or a physical home/address where you will be staying. But I'm just guessing like you probably are.

Posted by
292 posts

I just completed the ArriveCAN application that is required for a day trip entry into Canada from the US.
The requirements include (among many other things) sharing your Covid Vaccination records, a negative Covid test within 72 hours of crossing and......the noted quarantine plan. There is no way to submit an ArriveCAN application without providing very specific details about your 14 day quarantine plan including the location address, details about how will care for yourself, access to food, drink etc.
In our case, travelling to Campabello for a few hours one would expect this to be unnecessary given that A) if we were not vaccinated and had tested positive we would not attempt to cross or B) that if we are vaccinated, have tested negative and do not have a plan to stay that we would then be turned away.
It's illogical but as has been said, the plan is required.

Posted by
1857 posts

It's illogical but as has been said, the plan is required.

government = bureaucracy = illogical, it's like death and taxes, you can't avoid it anywhere in the world.

Posted by
3789 posts

I guess it is also a case of 'worst case scenerio' and one document for all travel permutations. In orxer to make it easy for them, it makes it confusing for everyone else.

Posted by
1398 posts

That's why I said earlier that I think a day trip is possibly too much work....except for the really determined.
You could plan to go back home that evening, but instead be stuck for 14 days!
Not logical, I agree; but this is the new way now.

Posted by
2743 posts

It seems like US-Canada travel is still quite a hassle. Anyone here have personal experience?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-canada-border-rules-leave-travelers-confused-discouraged-11631887245

We did not attend a family wedding on Labor Day weekend in Washington State, which would have been a cross-continent flight for us as we live in the Northeast. We initially planned to combine it with a visit to Vancouver Island. That was before the pandemic, when the wedding was scheduled for late spring 2020. We feel sorry for the bride & groom, who waited more than a year for their special day. At least they are now Mr. and Mrs.!

Some of our extended family members who live in California were able to go; they drove. And they apparently didn't wish to go across to Canada or didn't try to.

Posted by
5965 posts

I think the unspoken goal of most international travel restrictions is to discourage unnecessary travel, not to make it easy.

Posted by
3465 posts

I think the unspoken goal of most international travel restrictions is to discourage unnecessary travel, not to make it easy.

Exactly.

So if you need to travel, then go ahead, deal with the (possibly) long delays and the (possibly) getting stuck somewhere because you can't get back. But if you are just sight seeing, still not the best time to go anywhere. As much as I want to get back to traveling, and since I have no pressing reason l need to get anywhere, I am going to wait a bit longer.

Posted by
1398 posts

Well said, Mark.
I am pining to go back to Europe, but the thought of all the tests and confusion pre and post travel, and the very real scenario of possible being stuck somewhere for a couple more weeks keeps us at home.