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Can a Fully Vaccinated Person Travel to Canada from USA?

International travel was almost non-existent during the pandemic, but most Americans are now vaccinated and planning trips again. This leads to the question, can a US citizen get into Canada if they have been fully vaccinated? Yes! On August 9th 2021, the Canadian border reopened to all fully vaccinated US citizens and Green Card holders.

Proof of Vaccination When Traveling to Canada

Visitors to Canada should submit their proof of vaccination before arrival at the border via the Canadian Government's ArriveCAN mobile app. ArriveCAN is available for free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and allows travelers to take or upload a photo of their vaccine documentation.

As of July 5th 2021, fully vaccinated US citizens and Green Card holders do not need to quarantine upon entering Canada from the United States if they electronically submit proof of vaccination before arriving at the border via the Government of Canada's ArriveCAN app. As of August 9th 2021, American children under 12 will also be exempt from the quarantine requirement upon entering Canada regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. As of September 7th 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from the rest of the world can also visit Canada.

Visiting Canada Now That Border Is Open

Now that fully vaccinated Americans are allowed to enter Canada for leisure purposes, they will need to provide proof they had their COVID-19 vaccine shots. In many cases, an American can provide an official vaccination certificate or "vaccine passport" containing a QR code. A person will also need a valid US passport, or other acceptable ID such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), and anyone hoping to enter Canada with a DUI or other criminal record (including both misdemeanor and felony convictions) may need to apply for special entrance permission from the Canadian Government. As of April 1st 2022, a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required to enter Canada.

COVID Testing at Canadian Border

As of April 1st 2022, vaccinated Americans will no longer need to show a negative COVID-19 test when entering Canada! Previously, fully vaccinated Americans needed a negative rapid test. When the border first reopened after the pandemic closure, the requirement was a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival at a land border or a flight's scheduled departure. This means travel to Canada is now substantially easier for Americans, as rapid antigen tests may be widely available and much cheaper than PCR tests, but they were still a hassle.

When Canada used to require a rapid test, "at home" COVID tests were not be accepted. Instead, it had to be an authorized rapid antigen test taken no more than one day before your arrival or scheduled flight departure. This pre-entry COVID test was required of all travelers 5 years of age or older (young children were exempt). PCR tests were still accepted at the border, so travelers from USA could choose between a rapid test and a PCR test. As of April 1st 2022, however, no pre-arrival COVID-19 test is required to enter Canada from USA if the visitor is fully vaccinated.

Who Does Canada Consider "Fully Vaccinated"?

In order to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a Canadian Port of Entry, you must have received vaccines approved by the Government of Canada. Americans with adequate proof they received two doses of Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZeneca vaccines, one dose of Janssen vaccine, or approved combinations, at least 14 days before entering Canada will be considered fully vaccinated. If it has not been a full two weeks since your vaccine shot (excluding booster shots), Canada will likely not consider you to be entirely vaccinated and you could get denied entry. A COVID-19 booster shot is not currently required of travelers from USA.

When Can I Visit Canada?

As of August 9th, vaccinated tourists from the United States are allowed to visit Canada. As of September 7th, people from other countries who are fully vaccinated can also travel to Canada for business or tourism purposes.

I'm Vaccinated, Can I Go to Canada for Work?

Even before the border opened on August 9th, some vaccinated Americans were already able to enter Canada for work or business purposes. For example, pilots and flight attendants, merchant mariners, doctors, nurses, commercial truck drivers, and other essential workers could travel to Canada during the pandemic if they had a COVID vaccine record card. People with close family in Canada, or who are in a serious relationship with someone who lives there, were also allowed to visit Canada if they had been properly vaccinated for COVID-19 and variants. Driving through Canada between Alaska and the Lower 48 was also possible for US citizens with acceptable proof of vaccination. Non-essential business travelers were only allowed to start entering Canada on August 9th 2021.

Can Unvaccinated Americans Enter Canada?

The Canadian Government has not officially announced how they will handle tourists without a COVID vaccine in the long run. According to this CNN news story, however, Prime Minister Trudeau has said that unvaccinated American adults will not be allowed to vacation in Canada for "quite a while" (unvaccinated children under 12 are exempt from the rules). We do not yet know when unvaccinated Americans will be able to enter Canada for non-essential work purposes. In June 2022, Canada dropped several of their vaccine mandates (unvaccinated Canadians can now fly domestically etc.) but no announcement has been made about allowing unvaccinated travelers from USA to enter the country. As we learn more about Canada's border policy for unvaccinated visitors, we will update this page.

Pressure to Open Land Border Immediately

Several politicians and business groups in both countries were aggressively lobbying for vaccinated individuals to be allowed to cross the border long before the official announcement was made. For example, US Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer had been pushing for the land border between Canada and USA to open to people with proof of vaccination for many months. "The bottom line is very simple. If you have a vaccine, you should be allowed to cross the border" he told media in May 2021. A group of state legislators also formally asked for the US-Canada border to reopen. According to polls from July 2021 (just before the border reopening was announced), the Canadian public overwhelming wanted the land border between Canada and the United States to open to anyone who was properly vaccinated.

Canada Border News

June 16th Update - The Government of Canada has suspended the country's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for domestic travel by airplane and train. As of June 20th 2022, unvaccinated Canadians will be able to fly within Canada, and will even be able to travel internationally to other countries that allow unvaccinated visitors. It is still unknown when Canada will begin allowing unvaccinated Americans to cross the border.

April 1st Update - US citizens and Green Card holders can now visit Canada without taking a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.

March 17th Update - On April 1st 2022, the Canadian Government will drop the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter Canada. The tourism industry has been aggressively pushing for such a change, arguing that even rapid antigen tests are a barrier to travel for many people. Once the pre-arrival COVID testing requirement comes to an end, fully vaccinated Americans will be able to travel to Canada without needing any COVID test.

March 1st Update - As of March 2022, Americans can now enter Canada with a rapid COVID test (antigen test) instead of the more expensive PCR test. This will likely increase the number of people visiting Canada this summer, which should help the hard hit Canadian tourism industry.

February 16th Update - Starting on February 28th 2022, it is possible for a person to enter Canada from USA with a pre-arrival rapid antigen test showing they do not have COVID. Prior to this date, a pre-arrival PCR test / molecular test result was required for vaccinated travelers from the United States. This will make traveling to Canada cheaper and easier for Americans interested in visiting the country.

January 2nd Update - Many Americans will be receiving a COVID-19 "booster dose" in 2022. As of the current border rules, however, such a booster shot is not required for entering Canada from USA.

December 17th Update - The Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory to its own citizens asking Canadians to avoid all non-essential international travel as the Omicron variant spreads quickly around the world. The Canadian border remains fully open, however, and Americans are still allowed to visit Canada for vacation purposes.

December 2nd Update - Due to the Omicron variant, people flying into Canada from outside the United States may be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the border and may need to quarantine until a negative result. This does not apply to travelers arriving from USA, however, so most Americans will not be affected by the new restrictions.

September 7th Update - As of September 7th 2021, fully vaccinated visitors from across the world can enter Canada.

September 3rd Update - Recently released statistics show the number of Americans traveling to Canada is still substantially lower than pre-pandemic levels. Some experts believe this is because the border is much less convenient to cross today compared to in years past. For example: vaccinated American citizens looking to enter Canada currently need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before their flight's scheduled departure or their arrival at a land border crossing.

August 9th Update - Fully vaccinated American citizens and Green Card residents are now allowed to travel to Canada for a vacation.

August 2nd Update - Two people attempting to enter Toronto from the United States have been each fined $19,720 for providing Canadian border agents with fake proof of vaccination and pre-departure COVID test results. Source: USA Today.

July 28th Update - CBSA agents have voted to go on strike as early as August 6th, which could have an impact on Canada's border reopening. While many Canadian border agents are considered essential and thus would be required to continue working, a strike could cause delays at some border crossings.

July 19th Update - The Government of Canada has officially announced the reopening on their border to all fully vaccinated United States citizens and permanent residents starting August 9, 2011. Canada's border will also officially reopen to vaccinated visitors from other nations beginning on September 7, 2011.

July 16th Update - Canadian leader Trudeau has said Canada will likely reopen their border to vaccinated tourists from USA next month. According to Bloomberg News, Canada will then likely open their border to visitors from the rest of the world in September 2021.

July 12th Update - According to a recent CTV News story, many travelers arriving at the Canadian border expecting to be exempt from quarantine requirements are not. In the story, a CBSA spokesperson says "roughly half of the people seeking the exemption had to be turned away." Of the people who were denied the exemption, most either had only one dose of a two-dose vaccine, had received a vaccine not approved by Canada, or had not waited the required 14 days after their last shot before traveling.

July 5th Update - Starting today, Americans who are considered "essential travelers" can enter Canada without a 14-day quarantine if they are fully vaccinated (and provide adequate proof of their vaccination status via the Government of Canada ArriveCAN app).

June 17th Update - Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Dominic Leblanc, has told reporters the Government will likely announce an official border reopening plan in the next week. He suggested the Canadian border will not open to fully vaccinated US citizens immediately, however, but that a gradual reopening would begin in July 2021.

June 14th Update - The Federal Government of Canada has embarked on Phase 1 of a multiphase approach to lifting COVID travel restrictions at their border to vaccinated persons. Last week the Government announced all fully vaccinated travelers allowed to enter Canada under the current rules will soon be able to skip the 14-day quarantine requirement.

June 9th Update - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated anyone coming to Canada once the border reopens needs to be fully vaccinated before arriving.

June 7th Update - Airlines for America and the National Airlines Council of Canada, trade groups representing airlines in the USA and Canada, has sent a letter to the Canadian Government urging them reopen air travel between the two nations. Vaccination rates are now extremely high in both countries, and the letter mentions that air travel between Canada and the US enables more than $700 billion in cross-border trade.

June 1st Update - According to a poll conducted by Angus Reid Institute, more than 75% of Canadians think only travelers that show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 should be allowed to enter Canada once the border reopens.

May 23rd Update - A Canadian Government minister told media on Friday that some vaccinated Americans may be able to travel to Canada very soon, as border measures could be loosened in the "coming weeks" if COVID case numbers continue declining.

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