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Washington State Department of Transportation message display during border closure (May 23, 2021).

Canada announces easing of border restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers beginning August 9th

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced today, July 19, that effective August 9th, “Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.”

The announcement continued by saying, this is a preliminary step in anticipation of opening Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travelers on September 7th.

Officials will require travelers use the ArriveCAN website and smartphone apps to submit evidence of vaccinations before arrival at the border.

To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the basis of vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.

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All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, 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. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.

A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.

Public Health Agency of Canada (July 19, 2021)

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