Canada Allows Fully Vaccinated US Visitors

Carolyn Crist

August 09, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center .

Canada lifted its travel restrictions for U.S. visitors on Monday, allowing travelers who are fully vaccinated with a negative COVID-19 test to cross the border, according to The Associated Press.

Visitors are required to submit travel information and proof of vaccination on the ArriveCAN app before entering Canada. Travelers should plan for the possibility of additional processing time at the border, the AP reported.

The Canada Border Services Agency "will not compromise the health and safety of Canadians for the sake of border wait times," Rebecca Purdy, a spokeswoman for the agency, told the AP.

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to nonessential travel since March 2020. The U.S. has extended its border closures for Canadian and Mexican visitors until at least Aug. 21, the AP reported.

The Biden administration is making plans for a phased reopening for foreign visitors, though White House officials haven't indicated when that will begin. Travelers will be required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

For the return trip from Canada, U.S. travelers don't have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, the AP reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers "have been processing essential travel throughout the pandemic and remain ready and able to process American citizens and permanent residents returning from Canada," Jason Givens, a spokesman for the agency, told the AP.

Canada accepts the Pfizer, Moderns, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, according to USA Today. Travelers are encouraged to carry their vaccine documentation with them, as well as negative COVID-19 test results and a list of their close contacts and locations visited in case public health officials need to conduct contact tracing.

Fully vaccinated travelers don't need to quarantine upon arrival, but those who experience COVID-19 symptoms during travel will need to self-isolate, USA Today reported. Visitors must provide a quarantine plan as well.

Children under age 12 and unvaccinated children under age 18 can enter Canada with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. People with health conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated can quality for entry but must follow a modified quarantine plan, USA Today reported.

Travelers without documentation won't be able to enter Canada, and those who present fake documentation could be fined. Two travelers who tried to enter Canada last month were fined nearly $16,000 after showing false information related to their proof of vaccination, USA Today reported.

"We've seen quite a few instances with individuals who've attempted to make use of fraudulent documents. It's just not worth it," Denis Vinette, vice president of the Canada Border Services Agency's travelers branch, told the news outlet.

Vinette said the agency expects to see a 10% to 25% increase in vehicles crossing the border after travel restrictions are lifted Monday. That would be about 20% of pre-pandemic travel levels, USA Today reported.

"We ask travelers to be patient but also to arrive prepared and knowledgeable of the requirements at the border," Vinette said. "It'll help increase passage and throughput and make the experience much more positive."


The Associated Press: "Canada begins allowing vaccinated US citizens to visit again."

Government of Canada: "Use ArriveCAN to enter Canada."

USA Today: "Vaccinated Americans can enter Canada starting Monday. Here are 11 things to know before a trip."


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