Canada entry restrictions will remain in place through Nov. 21

Sep 20, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional entry requirements. It was originally published on July 19.

Canada on July 19 said that it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens beginning on Aug. 9. Now, it has announced that the restrictions around entry will remain in place through Nov. 21.

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Back in July, Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said in a statement that “With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures.”

“A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

Reopening Canada to Americans for leisure reasons marked a major step in the reopening of the border between the two nations, which largely remained shut since March 2020.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been fully vaccinated (14 days past the final dose) are allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel purposes as of Aug. 9. These travelers, whether driving across the border or flying, still have to take a test within 72 hours of departure and test on arrival.

Canada has also open its borders to citizens of other countries as of Sept. 7. The government has announced on Sept. 19 that these restrictions will remain in place until at least Nov. 21. There’s no word yet on what might change after that date.

Canada has said it would remain open to any fully vaccinated traveler with an approved vaccine that meets specific entry requirements if the “domestic epidemiologic situation remains favorable.” Time will tell what changes may come if COVID-19 numbers improve.

Unvaccinated children under 12 are allowed to enter Canada but must submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN and meet all testing requirements.

The U.S. Travel Association, an organization that represents the travel industry, praised the move — and called for the Biden administration to recommend a plan to restart nonessential travel by Canadian citizens to the U.S.

However, the United States still has a nonessential travel ban for Canada that has been extended on a near-monthly basis since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, through Oct. 21.

Canada had a very public delayed vaccination program, but 74% of Canadians are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the country has recorded over 1.5 million positive cases and over 27,000 deaths.

With vaccinations in the country on the rise and positive cases down, and with several large countries opening for tourism, some think it’s time for Canada to relax its policy further. The travel industry has clamored for travel corridors they believe would help the sector rebound from pandemic-related losses.

Tourism generated $105 billion and supported one in 10 Canadian jobs, according to one report. And the U.S. Travel Association said the U.S. loses $1.5 billion every month that the border remains closed between the two countries.

However, the U.S. doesn’t appear to be rushing to reopen its border with Canada, which means a full “travel corridor” isn’t on the horizon, at least for now.

“We look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention,” the White House said on July 19, according to CNN.

Featured photo by Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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