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Non-essential travel in Canada: The border opened to fully vaccinated Americans on August 9

Suitcase in the Airport

Fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents of the United States who live with our neighbours to the south and want to enter Canada for non-essential travel will be able to do so as of August 9. Nationals of other countries will be able to do so as of September 7. Certain entry requirements to Canada will also be reduced. Québec City's Jean-Lesage International Airport, and four other Canadian airports, will also be able to resume hosting flights from abroad on August 9.

Travellers will be required to have received their two doses of vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada, and to meet the new requirements for this relaxation.

Visitors must have received vaccines approved by the Government of Canada, namely those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), provide proof in English or French through the ArriveCAN app (on the web or on cell phone) and have this proof ready to be presented at the border upon request.

The requirement for molecular testing to be completed prior to arrival remains, and visitors will not be required to show symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival. However, there will no longer be a systematic test on arrival for fully vaccinated travellers. This step has been replaced by the screening, on arrival, of a certain proportion, which remains to be determined, of travellers who will be tested on the first day.

In addition, unvaccinated children under the age of 12 will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days, but will remain subject to several strict sanitary measures. They will be able to travel with their fully vaccinated parents but, during the first 14 days after arrival, will have to avoid collective places such as holiday camps, daycares or schools. They will have to undergo screening tests on the first and eighth days.

There will not be an exhaustive list of places that will be banned, but details will be provided by August 9, the Public Health Agency of Canada said. Provinces and territories will also have the right to impose stricter rules.

In addition, five additional airports will be able to resume receiving international flights as of August 9, including Québec City Jean-Lesage International Airport. Macdonald-Cartier International Airports in Ottawa, James Armstrong Richardson International in Winnipeg, halifax and Edmonton are also on the list.

Starting August 9, the mandatory 3-day hotel stay will be eliminated for all travelers, but travelers who are not fully vaccinated will still have to undergo the first- and eighth-day screening test, and adhere to a 14-day quarantine.

Border measures may be modified depending on the epidemiological situation, Ottawa warned.

"The Government of Canada reiterates its advice to Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada, as travel abroad increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as the risk of transmission," Health Canada noted in explanatory documents.

The orders-in-council that were due to be renewed on July 21 will be renewed with the current content, but Ottawa will issue amendments to those orders by August 9, the public health agency said.

Details will also be given in the coming weeks regarding the opening to all foreign visitors on 7 September.

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