Canada has loosened restrictions for some individuals, but tourism is still on hold

Jul 9, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

Canada and the U.S. have taken the first steps toward reopening borders, but tourism is still on hold for now.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed during the G-7 Summit in June that he spoke with President Joe Biden about “coordinating measures at our borders as both our countries move ahead with mass vaccination,” Reuters reported, and some restrictions on select individuals began loosening on July 5, 2021.

But the two countries previously agreed to extend the nonessential travel ban between the U.S. and Canada through July 21, 2021, so leisure travel to and from Canada is still out of reach for now.

Here’s what we know so far.

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First phase of reopening has begun

As of July 5, Canada is allowing Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country without the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Additionally, those who enter the country via air won’t have to stay for three days at a government-approved hotel.

You’ll need to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days to be eligible for quarantine exemption, and all travelers will have to upload proof of vaccination through the ArriveCan app.

All other eligible travelers (including non-vaccinated citizens and permanent residents; people registered under Canada’s Indian Act; protected persons; select foreign nationals traveling for essential reasons; and immediate family members of Canadian citizens or residents) will still be required to adhere to the full testing and quarantine protocols. 

Related: Canada extends border closure to the U.S. through July 21

Leisure travel is still banned

Unfortunately, the border will remain closed to tourism and other nonessential travel until at least July 21. And the border closure has been pushed back on a near-monthly basis, so there’s also no guarantee that July 21 is the magic reopening date.

Trudeau has said he would like to wait until at least 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated before reopening the border, but he’s been facing pressure from officials to reopen sooner than that. As of July 5, more than 25 million people have received at least one dose, and just over 30% of the population 12 and older is fully vaccinated.

Allowing fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bypass the quarantine requirements is a step in the right direction, and hopefully fully vaccinated Americans will soon be allowed to visit Canada.

That said, Americans planning to visit Canada once the border reopens should still expect to jump through a few hoops before — such as taking a COVID-19 test and wearing a mask in public spaces.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor. 

Featured image by Anna Gorin/Getty Images. 

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