OTTAWA — The Government of Canada is planning to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers on September 7, 2021. Travellers must be fully vaccinated with a Canada-approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to entry.
As a preliminary step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada will allow entry to fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the United States.
With limited exceptions, all travellers must use ArriveCAN to submit their travel information. If they’re eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine upon arrival.
In support of these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the range of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial-passenger flights into four Canadian airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.
Effective August 9, international flights will be allowed to land at the following additional Canadian airports: Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Edmonton International Airport.
Moreover, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. The mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers remains the same.
Finally, the mandatory three-night hotel stay will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on August 9, 2021.
“The easing of Canada’s border measures is welcome news for tourism businesses across the country, the thousands of Canadians employed by the sector and the communities who rely on it. It has been a challenging year as we balance the need to protect both the health of Canadians and our economy but tourism businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience,” says Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Our government has been proud to be by their side since the beginning of this crisis and we will continue to be there as they prepare to begin to welcome vaccinated travellers from around the world to our beautiful shores.”
“Canadians’ safety and security always come first. With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures,” says Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health. “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.”
“The Government of Canada recognizes that people have been anxiously awaiting a re-opening of the border to the world. We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries,” says Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”
Following the announcement, The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses released a statement, saying it is pleased by the plan for re-opening Canada’s border. “Our businesses look forward to safely welcoming U.S. travellers in August and international travellers in September,” reads the release.
But while this is welcome news, the statement goes on to say that most tourism businesses lost their international travel summer season. “This re-opening alone will not save many of Canada’s businesses in the tourism, travel, hospitality, arts, festivals and events sectors from financial ruin this fall and winter. Over the coming months, our industry is facing a perfect storm. The wage subsidy (CEWS) and fixed costs (CERS) support programs that kept us alive are sharply declining, while business and convention travel remain low, and Canadians think about travel south in the fall and winter. Even with Canada’s border open to all fully vaccinated international travellers, Canada’s hardest-hit businesses need tailored support to stay alive and employing almost two million people.”