Yesterday, July 15, 2021, at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada may be willing to open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans traveling for non-essential purposes as early as mid-August .
Canada’s borders have been closed to all non-essential travel (with a few exceptions) since March 2020, when travel restrictions were introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19. It has now been 16 months since the border between Canada and the United States has been closed, and there has been increasing pressure from both US and Canadian citizens, business leaders and politicians to ease travel requirements for cross-border travel.
The news that Trudeau is considering relaxing border restrictions comes from a reading of a meeting that Trudeau had on Thursday with the Canadian premiere. The Prime Minister makes it clear that the reopening of the border with the United States is conditioned by Canada’s continued success with its vaccination program and a continued decline in COVID cases. In addition, only fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed to enter the country.
The reading says “The Prime Minister noted that if our current positive path to vaccination rate and public health conditions continues, Canada would be able to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September. He noted the ongoing discussions with the United States on reopening plans and indicated that we could expect to begin allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada from mid-August for non-essential travel. Prime Ministers expressed their support for the reopening of plans and agreed on the importance of ensuring clarity and predictability when taking the first steps. The prime minister said ministers would share more details on these plans early next week. Finally, First Ministers discussed the importance of working together on evidence of vaccination evidence and prioritizing the work of implementing a system that enables Canadians to travel internationally with confidence. Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen Canada’s economy. ”
This development follows comments made by Trudeau last week when he answered a question about when Canada might allow vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers: “I can tell you right now that this will not happen for some time.” Trudeau added: “We need to continue to ensure that the safety of Canadians for all the victims that so many people have made over the last many, many months is not in vain. The next step will be to look at what measures we can allow for international travel [for those] who are fully vaccinated. That will be our first focus. We will have more to say in the coming weeks. ”
On July 5, 2021, Canada also began Phase 1 by easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers entering the country. Fully vaccinated Canadians now have access to the country without having to quarantine for 14 days. (There are no exceptions for those who are only partially vaccinated.) However, strict procedures are in place for those who wish to apply to skip quarantine. The government website states that “To be approved, travelers must submit COVID-19-related information to ArriveCAN electronically prior to arrival, meet pre- and post-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic, and have an appropriate quarantine plan. Acceptable proof of vaccination … also required. The final decision on exemptions is made by a government representative at the border based on the information presented at the time of entry into Canada, so a quarantine plan is still needed. ”