Restrictions ease at Canada-U.S. border

Restrictions at the U.S.-Canada border are easing, but it’s not open to everyone as some believe.

Beginning Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to skip the 14-day quarantine.

“The land border is still closed,” says Laurie Tannous, with the Cross Border Institute at the University of Windsor.

The easing of border restrictions will largely only benefit people who are already crossing the border.

“If you were outside of Canada as a Canadian citizen you’re always gonna be allowed back entry into the country. What was happening is people were having to quarantine. Now if you’re vaccinated, you’re exempt,” says Tannous.

Vaccinated Windsorites hoping to regain access to their cross-border communities, families, and friends will have to wait longer.

“The problem is I think there’s some confusion, rightfully so where people think that announcement means that the border has opened somehow. It has not,” Tannous says.

In a statement released to CTV News, Canada Border Services Agency says:

“Fully vaccinated travellers eligible to enter Canada arriving by air or land, will continue to be required to complete the mandatory pre- and on-arrival testing but they will no longer be required to quarantine or complete a day-8 test."

Fully vaccinated travellers must have a negative pre-arrival test and submit a digital proof of vaccination.

A step in the right direction for cross border trade, according to Tannous.

“The news of today’s loosening of restrictions for what happens to be upon entering to Canada has been received very well, very positively from the business and trading community,” says Martin Firestone of Travel Secure. 

As of Monday, many insurers have agreed that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will be considered covered and no longer need a Covid-19 rider to be added to their plan, Firestone says.

“The amount of insurance that would be for a COVID incident will be the full amount of the contract so if they insure you for $5 million that will now be $5 million for COVID,” he says.

Firestone says a major obstacle remaining is children under the age of 12, who are not exempt from quarantining.

“Albeit not at the hotel but they’ll still have to quarantine at home for 14 days,” he says. “That is going to stop a lot of people from going away or booking trips later on.”

Firestones says another deterrent right now is the trip cancellation insurance, which still has COVID-19 as a known cause.

Meaning if you’re booking a trip under the level three travelling advisory, COVID is not a reason you can cancel the trip and get your money back.

The mutual restrictions between Canada and the U.S. are due to expire July 21.