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

July 09, 2021
3 min read
Two-lane famous Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta, with snowcapped mountains looming above in summer
Canada has loosened restrictions for some individuals, but tourism is still on hold
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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.

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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 (Photo by Anna Gorin/Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees