Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated are now able to enter the country without having to quarantine — provided they have proof of inoculation and have submitted a negative COVID-19 test.
This is the first phase of loosening the Canada-U.S. border restrictions that have been in place since March 2020.
But the first phase has been met with some confusion, including the rules around quarantining with children, digital proof of vaccination and whether non-essential travel is now allowed.
Here is everything you need to know before you head on a trip to the Canada-U.S. border.
As of 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated are permitted to cross the border without having to quarantine or take the day eight COVID-19 test.
Eligible air travellers are also exempt from the requirement that they spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel.
Fully vaccinated travellers that arrived before 12:01 a.m. Monday are not eligible for testing and quarantine exemptions. This means that travellers who returned to Canada before Monday must complete their 14-day quarantine and day eight test.
Returning Canadian travellers encounter confusion with looser COVID-19 restrictions
How does it work?
In order to skip quarantine, travellers must:
- Be fully vaccinated with one of the approved Health Canada shots: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
- Have received the last COVID-19 dose at least 14 days before coming to the border.
- Submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before coming to the border.
- Upload the vaccine certificate and COVID-19 test information on the updated ArriveCAN app.
- Take and pass a COVID-19 test upon arrival (you are allowed to go home and wait for the results).
What hasn’t changed?
Although fully vaccinated Canadians can skip quarantine, this is only for essential travel. The Canada Border Services Agency still strongly advises against non-essential travel (like shopping trips in the U.S.).
U.S. citizens heading to Canada by land for non-essential travel are not allowed to enter the country.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada’s website lists reasons for essential travel as work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.
Cross border travel could soon return between Canada and the U.S.
“The restrictions that have been in place since March of 2020 remain in place,” Denis Vinette, with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), said.
“So it’s important for individuals to know that if you haven’t been able to travel up until now and you weren’t able to travel and enter Canada on July 4th, that doesn’t change. On July 5th, those restrictions remain and you still can’t come into Canada. That’s for a future phase of the border reopening.”
There are no changes for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Canadians. They are still subject to a 14-day quarantine and the mandatory three-night stay in a hotel if arriving by air. All testing requirements are also mandatory.
What about unvaccinated children?
The new border rules only apply for fully vaccinated Canadians. That means children under the age of 12, who aren’t yet eligible to receive a vaccine, still have to quarantine.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children arriving by air with fully vaccinated parents won’t have to go to quarantine hotels — they can stay home for two weeks. However, they must take a second COVID-19 test on their eighth day of isolation. The same rules apply for unvaccinated children crossing the land border.
Updated travel rules for fully vaccinated Canadians
Parents and siblings who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the quarantine requirement.
Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 in May. Moderna’s approval for the same age group is pending, but no COVID-19 vaccine is yet authorized for kids younger than 12.
Why about fully vaccinated American citizens?
Fully vaccinated Americans hoping to come to Canada for non-essential travel are still unable to enter the country. It’s unclear when the federal government will allow U.S. citizens to enter the country.
The decision has drawn criticism from the business community and international trade experts.
Mark Warner, an international trade lawyer based in Toronto, said he does not “understand the basis for distinguishing between fully vaccinated Canadians who won’t have to quarantine and fully vaccinated Americans.”
“I say Americans because they’re using essentially the same vaccines approved by Health Canada. So that shouldn’t be controversial. I can understand perhaps other jurisdictions, maybe China, perhaps India. But I don’t get the case for Americans, particularly when it’s so important that we go back to being the world’s largest undefended border.”
What about paper documents?
The CBSA said travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or the website to log their vaccination details and COVID-19 test results prior to coming to the border.
The border agency said the app is mandatory for all travellers entering by land or air.
However, the CBSA said to bring paper documents just in case.
“We’ve asked individuals to travel with their paper evidence. We also understand in some jurisdictions there is actually an ‘E-version’ of their certificate so that it can be presented to the border services officer in some exceptional circumstances. There are some situations where we will be able to accept paper,” Vinette said.
Minister Bill Blair outlines updated requirements for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers at the border
He added that if a traveller does not have access to a smartphone or the internet, they should ask “family and friends to help you create the account and submit your information.”
If someone refuses to submit their information through the ArriveCAN app, the traveller will not be denied entry into Canada by land or boarding if arriving by air, according to the federal government website.
However, the traveller won’t be eligible for the fully vaccinated exemption, may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning and may be subject to fines or enforcement action, the website stated.
Use the updated ArriveCAN app
The ArriveCAN app was released to the public in April 2020 in order to create a secure and easy way for travellers to upload COVID-19 information.
But as of Monday at 12:01 a.m., there is an updated app to download, which is the version the CBSA requires for travellers.
The updated ArriveCAN app is now available to download on the Google Play Store and the App Store. It can also be accessed online through the federal government’s website at canada.ca.
Will border restrictions further loosen?
The mutual travel restrictions between Canada and the United States — which prohibit all discretionary travel between the two countries while continuing to allow the movement of trade, essential workers and international students — are due to expire July 21.
It’s not known if the feds will implement the restrictions for another month, as the federal government has yet to lay out a plan for a “phase 2 reopening.”
The feds previously stated the first phase is a “cautious first step” and announcements about the gradual border reopening plan will be made in the coming weeks.
Trudeau defends new COVID-19 border rules amid questions over who is permitted entry
“We are doing things gradually, but we are talking about weeks and not months anymore. We certainly hope we will have more good news about reopenings in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa on June 22.
He did not give a specific date but said the announcement depends on vaccination rates, the number of COVID-19 cases and the variants circulating across the country.
For now, the new changes may add to wait times at the border in the days ahead as officials and travellers begin trying out these new measures, Vinette said.
“We might see as our officers begin to apply these new relief measures and as travellers arrive and are trying to comply with them, that there could be some impacts to the time it takes across the border,” he said.
“We invite people to be patient.”
–With files from The Canadian Press
Canadian travel restrictions ease for fully vaccinated passengers
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Wednesday – CBC.ca
- Travellers who were fully vaccinated in the United States or European Union won’t have to quarantine when entering England — but vaccinated Canadians will still need to follow quarantine rules.
- Tokyo reports 3,177 new COVID-19 cases — a new single-day high.
- Man charged with emailing death threats to Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. prosecutors say.
- INTERACTIVE | Where is the coronavirus pandemic getting better or worse?
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: Covid@cbc.ca or join us live in the comments now.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky says new mask-wearing guidance, coupled with higher rates of vaccination against COVID-19, could halt the current escalation of infections in “a couple of weeks.”
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CBS This Morning she hopes more stringent mask-wearing guidelines and other measures won’t be necessary as the country heads into the fall.
“We can halt the chain of transmission,” she said. “We can do something if we unify together, if we get people vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated, if we mask in the interim, we can halt this in just a matter of a couple of weeks.”
With the delta variant fuelling a surge of infections across the country, the CDC on Tuesday recommended even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in areas where the variant is prevalent.
Walensky said 80 per cent of the counties with the highest number of infections have less than 40 per cent of people vaccinated.
The nation is averaging more than 57,000 cases a day and 24,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. The guidance on masks in indoor public places applies in parts of the U.S. with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
–From The Associated Press last updated at 9:45 a.m. ET
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 195.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case-tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.1 million.
In Africa, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan received her vaccine in public, in the most decisive signal yet of a break from the policies of her late predecessor who repeatedly dismissed the threat of the pandemic.
Zimbabwe has authorized the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, the first Western-made shot to be approved by the southern African nation, its medicines regulator said.
In Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution on Wednesday about drawing conclusions from a seven-day decline in COVID-19 cases in Britain, saying it was too early to assess whether it was a definite trend.
“We have seen some encouraging recent data. There’s no question about that but it is far, far too early to draw any general conclusions,” Johnson told LBC radio.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia recorded 47,791 new cases and 1,824 confirmed in the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry recorded 558,392 active cases in Indonesia, with more than 81,000 cases from Sumatra regions.
In the Middle East, Israel is considering giving a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to its elderly population, even before FDA approval, to help fend off the delta variant.
-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 11:50 a.m. ET
Have questions about this story? We’re answering as many as we can in the comments.
Canada not among countries exempt from quarantine for travel into England – CBC.ca
The government of the United Kingdom announced today that travellers to England who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the European Union or United States will be exempt from mandatory quarantine upon arrival — but fully vaccinated travellers from Canada will still have to undergo quarantine.
The change goes into effect on Aug. 2, according to a news release from the U.K. government. While the U.K. Department for Transport has confirmed for CBC News that the change does not apply to Canadians, no reason has been given for the exclusion.
In a statement issued to CBC News, a Department for Transport spokesperson did not say why Canadians are not exempt.
“We are taking a phased approach to restarting international travel while protecting public health,” it reads. “We want to welcome all international visitors back to the U.K. and are working to extend our approach to vaccinated passengers from important markets and holiday destinations.”
From 2 August, passengers who are fully vaccinated from the US and European countries (currently excludes arrivals from France) will be able to travel from Amber countries to England without quarantine.<br><br>We are also restarting international cruises. Find out more👇
That means travellers from Canada to England will still have to quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, and take a COVID-19 test on or after their eighth day in the country. A few exceptions apply — one of which covers travellers who have been vaccinated in the U.K. A full list of rules can be found on the Department for Transport’s website.
“Passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival,” the news release says.
The exemption applies to some European countries outside of the EU, such as Norway and Iceland, but travellers from France will still have to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated.
No updates for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
According to BBC News, the government of Scotland has not made a decision on exempting fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S. and Europe. As of today, Wales and Northern Ireland also have not updated their rules for travel — which require a quarantine upon arrival from outside the U.K. unless the traveller was fully vaccinated through the U.K. vaccination programme.
IRCC: Canada welcomed over 35,000 new immigrants in June – Canada Immigration News
Canada recorded its strongest month for new permanent resident arrivals during the pandemic in June 2021, according to the office of Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.
In a recent Globe and Mail article, the minister says “We are going to make good on our commitment to land 401,000 new permanent residents.”
Under its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, the Canadian government is seeking to welcome at least 401,000 new immigrants annually, beginning this year. Prior to the pandemic, this target was set at 341,000 newcomers.
The plan is the most ambitious in Canada’s history. Only once has Canada welcomed over 400,000 immigrants in a year. This took place in 1913, but Canadian immigration plummeted immediately after due to the onset of the First World War.
The minister’s office estimates that Canada welcomed over 35,000 new permanent residents in June. In follow up email correspondence with CIC News, the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said its preliminary figures show Canada welcomed 35,700 immigrants last month. This figure is significantly higher than Canada’s totals in recent months.
Canada got off to a strong start to the year. It welcomed 24,680 new immigrants in January but lost momentum in the months to follow. The country then welcomed 23,395 in February, 22,425 in March, and 21,155 in April, and 17,100 in May.
Altogether Canada has welcomed some 143,000 new permanent residents through the first six months of 2021 which remains well short of the pace it needs to welcome 401,000 newcomers by the end of this year.
In order to achieve this newcomer target, Canada needs to land another 258,000 immigrants — an average of 43,000 per month — over the rest of the year.
Welcoming this volume of immigration over the remaining six months will be difficult but there is an outside chance it can be achieved.
Prior to the pandemic Canada welcomed an average of 25,000 to 35,000 newcomers per month. Immigration levels tend to be higher in the warmer months as more newcomers arrive during favourable weather conditions and leading up to the start of the academic and business calendar in September.
In 2019, levels were stronger in the second half of the year compared to the first as Canada welcomed 180,000 newcomers between July and December.
Assuming Canada welcomes that same level in the second half of 2021, it will conclude the year at just over 320,000 new permanent residents which is still below its target.
However there are several tailwinds remaining that could propel Canada closer to its newcomer goal.
Some 23,000 additional Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders are now eligible to move to Canada after restrictions on them were eased on June 21st.
Anyone else newly approved for permanent residence can also immediately move to Canada as a result of this easing.
IRCC also introduced six new permanent residency streams that will enable some 90,000 international student graduates and essential workers to remain in Canada. The department’s goal is to process some 40,000 of these applications by the end of this year.
The third tailwind is also from the domestic pool of permanent residence candidates. IRCC has been breaking various Express Entry records throughout the year as it prioritizes Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.
Draw sizes are larger than ever while cut-off scores are at record lows. According to IRCC, some 90 per cent of CEC candidates currently reside in Canada so it is easier for the department to transition them to permanent residence amid the pandemic than candidates abroad. IRCC has already issued nearly 100,000 Express Entry invitations this year which is almost double the invitations it issued at the same point in 2020. A significant portion of those invited during the pandemic should complete their permanent residence landing by the end of 2021.
The minister’s office told the Globe that the 45,100 permanent residence applications IRCC processed in June were the highest ever, which suggests that IRCC has the capacity to process and finalize the necessary number of applications to achieve its levels goal.
There are risks along the way that could disrupt IRCC’s plans. The global coronavirus situation remains volatile and things such as increased case levels and travel restrictions could get in the way. For example, Canada continues to restrict flights from its main newcomer source country, India.
A prolonging of this restriction could get in the way of IRCC’s goal. Further delays to COPR holder arrivals is another risk. IRCC is currently seeking to correspond with thousands of expired COPR holders to arrange their landing in Canada. This is a time-consuming process as IRCC needs to individually contact each COPR holder to ensure they have all the necessary documents to complete the immigration process.
Nonetheless, the coming months should see immigration levels remain high. There also remains a strong chance that monthly immigration totals will hit record highs by the end of the year due to the combination of more overseas arrivals and in-Canada applicants completing their landings.
© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.
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