September 27, 2021

Canada to reopen its doors to vaccinated travelers

Canada will reopen its land border on August 9 for U.S. citizens fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and all of its borders on September 7 for foreign travelers, the government announced on Monday (July 19).

To enter Canada, travelers must have received two doses of a vaccine authorized by Health Canada at least 14 days before entering the country and be free of symptoms.

‘On August 9, significant border changes will come into effect to allow fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents living in the United States to enter Canada for non-essential reasons,’ said Canada’s Minister of Justice. Health, Patty Hajdu, during a press briefing.

For the time being, the United States has not made a commitment to a reciprocal reopening. ‘We are continuing to review our travel restrictions,’ said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said the United States was following the advice of its ‘own medical experts.’

Pressed in recent weeks to relax health rules in a country where vaccination is well advanced, the Trudeau government also announced a total opening for the month of September.

The reopening of the Canada-U.S. Border on August 9 will be followed by the ‘reopening of our border to fully vaccinated travelers from any country as long as they meet the conditions for entry,’ announced Dominic LeBlanc , the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, during a press briefing.

‘Excellent news’

An announcement hailed as ‘excellent news’ by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, which has been campaigning for a reopening of borders for several months. ‘International tourism is crucial to stimulate international trade and foreign investment,’ added the association, which believes that ‘the tourism economy is ready to welcome visitors again’.

For Canadian Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty, this is ‘an important step’ even though he fears that ‘costly and administrative procedures will discourage short trips and business trips’ .

For some provinces, such as Quebec, American tourists represent a significant portion of visitors. United Airlines announced on Monday that it would offer more flights from the United States to Canada in September.

As of February 3, 2021, only the airports of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver can accommodate international flights. As of August 9, airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton will be able to resume reception.

Canada closed its air borders on March 18, 2020 and then three days later its land border with the United States, the longest in the world.

According to government figures released Monday, 75% of residents of Canada have received their first dose and one in two Canadians is fully immunized.