Fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed into the country starting Aug. 9

vaccine

The federal government announced Monday it will allow fully vaccinated American travellers into the country starting on Aug. 9, and extend that easing of border measures to other foreign nationals almost a month later.

Government officials said that as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on Aug. 9, Americans citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. will be able to travel to Canada for discretionary purposes if they’ve received a full course of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada at least 14 days prior to arrival.

“This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans,” a press release states.

The Canada-U.S. border was shut down to non-essential travel by mutual agreement on March 21, 2020 and the restrictions have been renewed each month since.

Unvaccinated American children under the age of 12 and unvaccinated dependent children will be able to accompany a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, or legal guardian and forgo the 14-day quarantine but must follow relevant public health guidelines in the region they’re visiting.

At this time, the U.S. has not announced similar plans to lift restrictions for Canadians seeking entry into the country for discretionary purposes.

Other fully vaccinated foreign nationals will have to wait until Sept. 7 to travel to Canada for discretionary purposes and only if the domestic COVID-19 situation continues to remain “favourable.”

All travellers will be required to upload proof of vaccination to the ArriveCAN app or website before they board their flight to Canada and carry their vaccine certificate with them to present to border officials.

The government also announced on Monday that it would expand the number of airports accepting international flights from four to nine, starting Aug. 9.

Beyond the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, the Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport, the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Edmonton International Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport will also be accommodating international arrivals.

“These airports, in co-operation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate,” the release states.

By the same date, the government says it will scrap the mandatory three-night stay at an assigned hotel upon arrival into Canada for non-vaccinated travellers, though they will still be required to present a suitable quarantine plan. As of July 5, those fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine.

Fully vaccinated travellers will also be able to forgo the mandatory post-arrival test unless randomly selected.

- with files from CTV -