Canada to Reopen to Americans Starting August 9

There was talk of Canada reopening its borders to Americans as early as June 22; at the time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted at least 75 percent of the country to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose (along with 20 percent who were fully vaccinated) before opening the borders. Well, about a month and a half later, and Canada is officially reopening its borders to vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents.

Currently, 71 percent of Canadians have received the first shot of their vaccine; however, 51 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times.

Beyond being fully vaccinated, Americans (along with any other travelers entering Canada, regardless of vaccination status) will need to show proof of a negative PCR or molecular test within 72 hours of requesting entry.

Starting September 7, Canada will then reopen to other international travelers, providing, the "COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable," the Canadian government said in a statement Monday, according to CNN. Entry to Canada remains prohibited for all foreign travelers who are not fully vaccinated.

A person is considered “fully vaccinated” once 14 days since their final vaccination dose has been administered. Canada is accepting the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Others, such as those from China or Russia, will not be accepted by Canada.

Good to know: Kids under 12 entering Canada with vaccinated parents or guardians will not have to quarantine for 14 days.

Similar to the situation with the European Union, which has begun reopening to Americans on a country-by-country basis, the United States has not announced whether it would reciprocate the border reopening plan, CNN reports. "We are continuing to review our travel restrictions and any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts," press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House briefing. "We take this incredibly seriously, but we look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn't look at it through a reciprocal intention."

In a statement following Canada’s announcement, U.S. Travel Association EVP of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said, “Canada is getting this right and we applaud the release of a timeline that will allow vaccinated Americans to visit and cross the land border after many long months. Travel is a core component of the economy and job creation, and [Monday’s] announcement will spur a rebound of both in Canada. While we have stated that vaccines should not be a requirement for travel, we strongly encourage all Americans to get a vaccine, and we commend Canada for starting this process to restore border travel.

“We urge the Biden administration to reciprocate by determining a date and a plan to welcome Canadian visitors at U.S. land borders. Land travel accounted for more than half of all overnight visits to the U.S. by Canadians pre-pandemic, so taking this step—given the strong rates of vaccination in Canada—will help the U.S. begin safely rebuilding with its No. 1 source market of international visitors.

“Each month that travel from Canada remains at a standstill comes at a cost to the U.S. economy of $1.5 billion in potential travel exports.”

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