canada reopening borders

Canada Is Open For Tourism From Sept. 7 But Requires Vaccination and PCR Test

Canada reopened borders for vaccinated tourists from most countries on September 7. 

To be eligible, visitors must meet a series of requirements as well as presenting proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours.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

October 2 – Alberta’s health system under “enormous pressure” due to a spike in COVID-19

Alberta’s government has declared the province to be under “enormous pressure” due to the 4th wave of Covid-19.

The COVID-19 situation in Alberta has rapidly deteriorated, serving as a warning to the rest of the country about how a series of poor public health decisions, low vaccination rates, and a failure to act on time can lead to disaster.

Premier Jason Kenney announced his province has agreed to accept help from the federal government and Newfoundland and Labrador, just days after rejecting it.

“We appreciate reciprocal offers,” Kenney told reporters on Thursday.

September 28 – Canada welcomes back nearly 100,000 visitors over the first week of reopening

Canada reopened its doors to international visitors on Sept. 6, aiming to revive its tourism industry. And it has paid off. 

Between September 6-12, 95,381 people visited the country, in addition to the 79,886 who entered the country from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 when the country was only opened to American tourists and another handful of visitors. 

Before the pandemic struck, Canada would see 326,000 visitors in the same period. The current figures are expected to be increased as travelers get used to the new entry rules and more travel bans are lifted. 

Read our full article: Nearly 100,000 Travelers Visited Canada in the First Week of Reopening

Recent Travelers Experience

Source: Q&A FB Group – COVID-19 TRAVEL Advice & Support Community

Helen H. “In Canada at the moment. All went well at immigration. They viewed our vaccination papers needed our Arrivecan receipt number. Asked a few questions and then we were wished a happy vacation. There is now checks on vaccine status in Ontario for dine in places and other venues but works well. Was as smooth as you could hope for.”

Canada-U.S. land border reopening

The Canada-U.S. land border will continue to be close at least until Oct. 21.

When will Canada open borders to Europe?

Canada officially reopened its borders to most international tourists on Sept. 7.

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 October 2, the country has reported 1,629,142 cases and 27,921 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.

Who can travel to Canada now?

Canada reopening - travel restrictions

Only Americans are allowed entry for 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 include,

  • 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 a warning level 2 by the CDC organization. This means that Canada is a relatively safe place to visit at the moment. (CDC.gov)

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 involve 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)


Canada Reopening Borders in 2021: Update Archives

September 14 – US lawmakers push for Canada-U.S border reopening as Sept. 21 approaches. 

Sept. 21 is when the United States must decide if it should extend the Canada-US land border closure or if it finally put an end to this, somehow, unreasonable restriction.

Democratic state Assemblyman Billy Jones who is also the co-chairman of the Canada-U.S. Relations Committee Assembly and his Canadian counterpart Guy Ouellette have backed a reopening of the border. 

“Enough is enough! It has been over 16 months since the border closed, and the federal government must make this a priority to (…) help struggling local businesses..,” said Jones

Source: Spectrum News 1

August 23 – Quebec to require vaccine passports from Sept. 1

Starting Sept 1, Quebec citizens will need to bear a vaccine passport to access festivals, bars, restaurants, gyms and other venues as the only way to keep the economy open and still protect the health system from being overwhelmed, said Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé.

“Taking into account the increase in cases, the fall coming up with the back to school and back to work and the expected prevalence of the delta variant, the conditions are there to deploy the vaccination passport,” Dubé said. The 4th wave of coronavirus is “inevitable,” he added.

The app is currently being tested and should be ready for downloads by September. Those who do not have a smartphone can also print out their QR codes or request a paper version by mail.

Source: Quebec Gov

August 13 – Canada to issue vaccine travel passports by September

Trudeau’s administration will create vaccine travel passports for nationals, permanent and temporary residents, the federal government has announced. 

The certificate, which should be ready by the “early fall”, will be recognized across all provinces and eventually also internationally. This will include the bearer’s vaccination history, the type of vaccine they received and where. 

“For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveler meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home,” according to a government release.

As it could not be otherwise, local media is reporting growing support among Canadian business owners. 

Source: Global News

September 4 – The Canadian Government Finally confirmed Sept. 7 as its reopen date to most international visitors.

After months of uncertainty about Canada’s reopening date, last night the government officially confirmed Tuesday as the day where most vaccinated travelers of the world will be welcome back to the country after almost 19 months of closure. 

Eligible visitors must provide,

  • Pre-entry test result 
  • Quarantine plan in case they don’t qualify for the exemption
  • Proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
  • Arrival tests – randomized testing and exemptions

For further information about the entry requirements click here

Unfortunately, flights from India and Morocco will remain suspended.

Source: Canadian Gov.

September 3 – Canada to welcome back international travelers on Sept. 7 – “probably”. 

Some weeks ago, Canada announced it will reopen its borders to International travelers on September 7. However, all of the official government websites continue to call Sept. 7 as the “intended” start date and “tentative” start date.

The federal government said Sept. 7 was still the reopening date “unless the pandemic suddenly takes a turn for the worse.” 

“The government of Canada intends to open its borders for discretionary travel by travelers from any country who have been fully vaccinated,” said Public Health Agency of Canada spokesperson Mark Johnson in an email.

Sources: 1. Canadian Government / 2. Canadian Government

August 8 – Canada will reopen land and air borders with the U.S. on August 9, confirmed government

After a 17 month ban, Canada will reopen land and air borders for fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. does not plan to reciprocate for the time being. The border situation is scheduled to be rewired on Aug. 21 but nobody expects a positive answer that day. 

Additionally, the White House has declined to commit to reopening its border to Canadians.

“We are continuing to review our travel restrictions and any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. 

Source: CNN

July 30 – A labor dispute with Canada Border Services Agency could jeopardize land border reopening on August 9

A labor dispute with the Canada Border Services Agency, a union that gathers more than 8,500 border workers could risk the land border reopening. 

Workers voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of taking strike actions on August 6, just two days before Canada plans to reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated Americans. 

“It could very well jeopardize Canada’s plan to reopen the Canada-U.S. border to fully vaccinated Americans travelers,” said Chris Aylward, the national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Customs and Immigration Union national president Mark Weber, who agrees with the strike, said that there is still time “to get back to the bargaining table.”

Source: Reuters

July 24 – Canada to reopen borders for fully vaccinated Americans on August 9

Canada is set to drop mandatory hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated Americans and U.S. residents from August 9. Visitors still need to submit a negative COVID-19 test to be allowed entry. 

“On August 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EDT, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States (U.S.), currently residing in the U.S., will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel,” Canada said in a statement.

Unfortunately, this is a one-sided reopening. On July 21, the U.S. extended its border closure with Canada until at least August 21.  

Source: USA Today

July 19 – Canada could reopen for fully vaccinated Americans as of mid-August

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has suggested the country could reopen to fully vaccinated Americans by mid-August and the rest of the world by early September. 

For her part, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that the government is looking closely at “what the next step would be particularly when it comes to their fully vaccinated American neighbors,” and also mentioned that conversations are being held to allow for a soon reopening of travel.

However, a White House official told Global News that “there is nothing yet on the American side that matches what [Trudeau] is saying.”

Source: Forbes

July 9 – Canada to possibly allow international vaccinated travelers over the next few months, says government on July 8

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a straightforward statement about permitting entry to unvaccinated travelers; “I can tell you right now, that’s not going to happen for quite a while.”

The country cannot afford to risk all the progress made to keep the virus out of their borders, according to the minister.

On the bright side, he also announced that good news could come for international vaccinated travelers soon.

“The next step we’ll be looking at what measures we can allow for international travelers who are fully vaccinated,” he said. “We will have more to say in the coming weeks.”

As of today, fully vaccinated Canadians are allowed to come back home without having to undergo the mandatory hotel quarantine. 

Source: Reuters

June 25 – Canada to lift its 14-day quarantine for vaccinated travelers from July 6

Canada is finally loosening its rather strict travel restrictions. Effective July 6, returning Canadians and resident permit holders can avoid the 14-day quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.

The announcement has left most travelers deeply disappointed and – according to local media – also angry because so far only 13 percent of Canadians have been fully vaccinated, as per reports from Canada’s Public Health Ministry. 

Additionally, children are not eligible to get a vaccine so their parents will still need to pay for the quarantine hotel.

(Source: Financial Times)