Canada announced that it will finally reopen its borders to Americans beginning August 9, and continuing to reopen to those from the EU in September.
The longest land border in the entire world has been closed for the most part, open to only those deemed essential, for sixteen months in response to the coronavirus.
Beginning on Monday, August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States who currently reside in the US will be permitted to enter Canada without quarantining — although they will still have to provide evidence of a negative coronavirus test upon entry.
The admonition that even those who have proof of vaccination status will have to test for the virus may deter some tourists, however, and there will be no travel permitted whatsoever for those who are unvaccinated.
Those who wish to visit Canada must fill out a form available on the app called “ArriveCAN.”
As of today, 52.6% of Canadians are fully vaccinated; the same metric for Americans is 49.3%, with parts of the nation, including especially the South, having large numbers of people who are hesitant about the vaccine.
EU residents allowed into Canada as of September 7
Those living in the European Union and other international travelers will also be allowed to enter Canada beginning on Tuesday, September 7, as long as the “COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable,” according to a statement released by the Canadian government on Monday.
As of August 9, all fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents who wish to cross over the northern border must have received the full series of a vaccine that is accepted by the Canadian government at least 14 days prior, according to the statement.
Currently, those are the inoculations manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. As of now, the US has not granted emergency authorization status to the AstraZeneca product and it is still pending before the FDA.
Other vaccines, including Sinovax from China and the Sputnik V product from Russia, will not be recognized by border officials in Canada.
However, officials say they are continuing to “look into it” and will announce any resulting policy changes accordingly.
All travelers must provide proof that they have been vaccinated.
Fully-vaccinated people do not have to test after arrival in Canada
Canadian officials conceded a major point of contention in that unvaccinated minors under 12 years of age who wish to enter Canada with vaccinated parents or guardians will not have to quarantine for 14 days, as all unvaccinated people have had to do up until now.
Another concession on the part of Canada came by way of their announcement that fully vaccinated travelers will not need to take a test after their arrival unless they have been randomly selected at the port of entry to complete such a test, will be molecular.
However, all those who cross over into Canada — regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated — will need to show proof of a negative PCR or molecular test within the prior 72 hours of requesting entry.
Closure of Canada border to Americans very costly
On the American side of the gigantic border, the outlook for reopening still looks cloudy, although fully-vaccinated Canadians have been able to cross over without quarantining as of July 5 — but they must have essential business on the otters side of the border.
The economic impact of the border closure, experts say, amounts to $1.5 billion in lost revenues every single month.
This week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told the press “We are continuing to review our travel restrictions and any decisions about reopening travel will by guided by our public health and medical experts.”
Meanwhile, dozens of countries were added to the CDC’s lowest category of Covid-19 travel risk on Monday, while as of July 19 the United Kingdom was placed on the Level 4, or No Not Travel, list due to the huge spike in infection rates there.
Asked about Canadian reciprocity, Psaki stated “We take this incredibly seriously, but we look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.”
The US is already using working groups with allies in the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding the reopening of travel, but they have produced few results as of this point.
The EU itself lifted its travel restrictions for US citizens last month and individual nations in the bloc had lifted their own restrictions much earlier — some as early as May 14, when Greece opened up to vaccinated Americans and Canadians.
From that time onward, any American who can show proof of vaccination has been free to enter Greece. However, US authorities placed Greece on its Level Three list in June — advising Americans to “reconsider Travel” to the Hellenic Republic due to its continuing elevated incidence of the coronavirus at present.