canada reopening borders

Canada considers opening for US & EU tourists with vaccine passports in 2021

Canada is not open for tourists, only essential travel is allowed. To be granted entry, visitors must submit proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result and undergo a 3-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel at a cost of CAD $2,000 per person. 

Only essential travelers, extended family members, international students, and few other exceptions are allowed to enter the country at the moment.

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Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

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Canada Opening Tourism – Latest Updates

Canada travel restrictions

May 5 – Canada to join European allies vaccine passport strategy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed Canada will align with the European policy to require all travelers to prove they have been immunized against COVID-19 so they can enter the country.

“We are looking very carefully at it, hoping to align with allied countries,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said they will definitely ask Americans to bring a vaccine certificate in order to allow them visit Canada regardless of whether their counterpart requires them to do the same.  

Trudeau also said Canadians might be free to travel outside the country by summer.

April 22 – Canada-U.S. border closure extended until May 21.

Nobody was caught by surprise. Anyone who follows the Canadian politics knew they would keep their border with the U.S. closed. 

According to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, Canadians will continue making their decisions based on the “best public health advice” on how to keep Canadians safe. 

However, the tourism and travel industry officials from Canada and the U.S are pushing to reopen as soon as possible. 

“We need a plan to open the U.S.-Canadian border,” […]“with vaccines, face masks, and good physical distancing, we can do so safely and successfully.” said U.S. Representative Brian Higgins. (Source:

April 12 – Canada-US vaccine passport is on the table

According to Canadian officials a vaccination certificate against COVID-19 could be a strategy to reopen the border between Canada and the United States.

According to a survey conducted by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Institute for Health Research at the University of Manitoba, 52% of Canadians support the initiative and 43% of American citizens would do it as well. 

As suggested by Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, there is still too much uncertainty about the future pandemic’s development and it is not the right time to start talking about a reopening yet. Additionally, he stated that the government will be hearing advice from their scientists. 

“We will continue to work with our partners in the United States and internationally to ensure that this is done properly,” said Prime Minister, last week.

March 29 – Canada might start a plan to reopen its land border with the U.S

For the very first time in more than a year of closure, the Canadian government has shown some intentions to start working on a reopening plan. Last week Wayne Easter, of the members of the Canadian House of Commons, issued a joint statement together with the American congressman Brian Higgins, saying both “the Canadian and U.S. governments need to make a plan for the border a priority.”  

“There’s Americans have land in Canada, even in P.E.I. here. There’s family connections across the border. And we have a trade agreement where we are trying to create an economy in North America that competes with the rest of the world, so that border has to function well.” 

Easter also said that, although the reopening is highly important to boost both countries’ economies, safety is their number one concern and the reopening would be slow and reviewed constantly. 

March 4 – New land border restrictions

Effective February 22, Canadians and permanent residents who are nonessential travelers returning home by land must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival to the land border or proof they had COVID-19 in the previous 14 to 90 days. 

Additionally, these travelers must quarantine for 14 days.  

February 9 – New set of restrictions

In order to do “whatever is necessary to keep Canadians safe” Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has released a new package of restrictions to help contain the spread of the new highly-contagious strains first discovered in the U.K and South Africa. Among them,

  • The Canada-US border measures were extended, at least, until at least February 21.
  • Flights to the Caribbean and Mexico were banned for the next 3 months.
  • Cruise ships entry was banned until 2022.
  • Returning Canadians will must undergo a 3-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel at their own expense. 

Vaccination rollout

So far, Canada has administered 2,90 doses per 100 people

Is Canada open for Americans?

No. It isn’t. Air and land borders will remain close, at least, until May 21. Only essential U.S. workers are allowed entry. 

When is the Canada-U.S. border reopening?

The Canadian government has officially extended the border closure until May 21.

COVID-19 Situation in Canada

Canada, like all nations throughout the world, has suffered greatly as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As of May 5, the country has reported 1,253,817 cases and 24,445 deaths.

As expected, the crisis hit certain areas of the country harder – namely those areas that were more populated.

Canada has been generally praised for its response to COVID. The country managed to keep its confirmed cases relatively low. Like many western countries, its rate of COVID-positive cases has been declining.

Canada-US land borders remain closed

Canada reopening - travel restrictions

Canada-US land borders are closed to nonessential travel and tourism. 

As was noted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the move was designed to protect both countries from furthering the spread of COVID.

There are some exceptions, including visiting family members or international students. Business exceptions only exist for essential work.

Who can travel to Canada now?

Canada’s shutdown measures are severe. There are some exceptions, but they are mostly related to essential workers or people who regularly travel to Canada for work. Although, the country is hearing appeals via letter.

Canadian nationals who are abroad are allowed to return to Canada. However, no one – including Canadian nationals – will be allowed to enter the country if they show any signs of COVID-19.

Regardless of who is coming to Canada, and for what reason, all people entering the country are required to adhere to certain conditions before being able to freely move. These includes,

  • Submit proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. 
  • Filling out basic screening information.
  • Quarantining for 3 days (or more) at a quarantine hotel at their own expense. 

Failure to adhere to these restrictions can result in significant fines or jail time.

How safe is it to visit Canada now?

Canada is at warning level 4 by the CDC organization. Any kind of traveling to Canada is not recommended due to the high risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. (

Canada reopening - travel restrictions

Like other places around the world, the Canadian tourism industry has taken a massive hit during this time. As noted by many news reports, the industry has been in terrible shape since the start of this pandemic.

Many locations have closed altogether, and the industry, as a whole, is advocating for significant financial help.

As a result of the closures, Canada’s tourism industry has shifted gears, promoting internal tourism and spending millions to encourage Canadians to go on local vacations – or “staycations” – that involves spending money within the country’s borders.

The good news is that many places are now open. For example, the vast majority of Niagara Falls’ attractions are now open for business.

The same applies to the CN Tower in Toronto. Indeed, most tourist attractions are open, but for internal visitations only.

The good news is that the country does have a better grasp of the COVID crisis than other countries, including their neighbors to the south. 

(Spanish version: Reapertura de Canada para el turismo – Restricciones de viaje)