VAN BUREN, Maine — The Canadian border opened to vaccinated Americans on Monday, August 9 for non-essential travel, including tourism.
Canadian leaders announced the news after being closed to non-essential travel for nearly 17 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was March 21, 2020, when the U.S.-Canada border was officially shut down to all non-essential travel. Those restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis ever since.
If you're a U.S. citizen planning to cross the border into Canada, you need a few things:
Proof of vaccination
- Your vaccine card has to be both submitted online and brought along when traveling or flying by air
- Canada is accepting people who were vaccinated by the Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines
A recent negative molecular COVID-19 test
- This applies even if you're vaccinated
- Must be submitted through the ArriveCAN app or online portal
Before traveling, you must submit proof of your vaccination status and negative COVID-19 test through the ArriveCAN travel document portal, either online or on your phone. You might need to take another COVID-19 test once in Canada. Fully vaccinated travelers will not need to take a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a day 1 COVID-19 molecular test, at no cost.
Travelers must also provide a quarantine plan in ArriveCAN and be prepared to quarantine. People must follow all local public health requirements.
Unvaccinated children under 12 who are traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are exempt from quarantine requirements. Those between the ages of 12 and 17 who are unvaccinated due to a mental or physical condition are able to enter Canada with their vaccinated parents or guardians but are subject to the 14-day quarantine requirement.
All unvaccinated children, except those under 5 years of age, will remain subject to the day 1 and day 8 testing requirements. Provinces and territories may have more stringent rules around people who have recently returned from travel.
The United States won't allow Canadian travelers to drive into the U.S. for another two weeks, until August 21. However, anyone currently in Canada is still able to fly to the United States with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Click here for more information.
Kelly Keefe of the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism told NEWS CENTER Maine all Americans will follow the same strict requirements before crossing into Canadian territory.
“American travelers traveling to Canada as on August 9th will have to register to arrive in Canada through the ArriveCAN web portal or app, so they can update their proof of vaccination to the app or portal, and they have to be double vaccinated so they have to show that,” said Keefe.
"Fully vaccinated" means it has been 14 days since a person received their final vaccine dose.
Families, businesses, restaurants, jobs, have all been affected by the closing of the borders.
Shiretown Inn and Suites in Houlton is one of the many businesses counting the days to hopefully get a tourism boost. The Suites front desk clerk Joshua Turse says the re-opening is already signaling a boost to business.
“At least until September 15th we're just about a full house. We have kinda spotty availability here and there with cancellations things change all the time. But for the most part, we're pretty booked up for a while,” said Turse.
Canada intends to allow travelers from any country who have been fully vaccinated on September 7, 2021, barring COVID-19 epidemiological setbacks.