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7.19.21 Advocacy Alert: Canadian Border Will Reopen to Vaccinated Americans August 9

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Josh Veronica

July 19, 2021

Today, Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hajdu announced that the Canadian border will reopen to vaccinated American travelers on August 9th.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told other Canadian officials on a conference call that he expected to open the border to some Americans by mid-August, but did not elaborate on specifics. Today’s announcement provided details of the change in Canadian policy, which has kept the border closed to non-essential American travelers since March 2020.

  • On August 9, Canada plans to admit U.S. travelers with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
  • All travelers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN app, which requires you to enter personal information prior to arrival.
  • All travelers – regardless of vaccination status – still need to provide proof of a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry. However, instead of also requiring a post-arrival test for vaccinated travelers, only some randomly-selected travelers will be subject to a mandatory test upon arrival. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers.
  • There will not be a quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers. Those entering Canada by air will no longer be required to quarantine for three nights in a hotel.
  • Americans traveling to Canada must follow all national, provincial, and local COVID-19 regulations. Ontario’s current pandemic protocols are available here and still require face coverings in public places.

This announcement represents a milestone in the pandemic. The BNP recognized that the continued border closure has caused significant economic and cultural damage, which is why we called for its opening in April.

In May, the BNP teamed up with Ontario’s Greater Niagara and Hamilton Chambers of Commerce to explain the benefits reopening the border would have for our binational economy.

The BNP also communicated with federal lawmakers about the need to reopen the border as soon as possible, and we thank Sen. Schumer, Rep. Higgins, and Rep. Jacobs for their persistent efforts on this issue.

Despite the calls from our federal representatives, the U.S. has not opened its border to non-essential Canadian travelers. When asked if the U.S. would follow Canada's lead, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden Administration is "continuing to review our travel restrictions. Any decisions about resuming travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. ... I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.” The BNP continues to urge the Biden Administration to welcome Canadian travelers.

The BNP applauds this necessary step to reigniting our cross-border economy, but there is more work left to do. We will continue to work with government partners on both sides of the border to continue to remove barriers to cross-border travel.

For the latest border crossing information, visit the Canadian government’s travel site.

Update: On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it was extending its ban on non-essential entry by Canadian travelers through August 21.

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