Canada Opens Doors to US Travelers

By Chris Shieff

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The Canadian Government has announced that from August 9 it will allow fully vaccinated US travellers to once again enter Canada for any reason and without quarantine.

This will then be followed by travellers worldwide from September 7 – that is of course, if nothing big happens in the meantime to spoil the plan.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the new rules will work.

Who will be allowed to enter from the US?

Initially, only US citizens and residents who are currently living in the States.

Which means to start off with, if a passenger doesn’t have a US passport or proof of residence they still won’t be allowed in.

What does ‘fully vaccinated’ actually mean?

For Canada, this will mean that at least 14 days have passed since a passenger has received a full course of one of the four Canadian-approved vaccines. This currently includes:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • AstraZeneca
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson

Any other vaccines will not be accepted in the first instance but there are plans in place for this to change.

There are still some things pax will need to do before they travel.

Namely they will still need a Covid test that is less than 72 hours before their flight, despite being vaccinated. They’ll also need to submit all their information via the ArriveCAN system which will give them the nod that they’re good to go. There’s an app version for that too. Pax will only be re-tested on arrival by random selection.

There will also be a requirement that they have a plan in place in case for some reason they are asked by authorities to isolate. You can read more about that here.

There will be more airports to choose from too.

Currently only four Canadian airports are allowed to receive international passenger flights – CYUL/Montreal, CYYZ/Toronto, CYYC/Calgary and CYVR/Vancouver. But this is set to change too. From the August 9, the list will be expanded to also include these major airports:

  • CYHZ/Halifax
  • CYQB/Quebec
  • CYOW/Ottawa
  • CYWG/Winnipeg
  • CYEG/Edmonton

What about unvaccinated passengers?

They’ll continue to be subject to Canada’s current entry rules, which means they will only be allowed in for essential travel (tourism will still be a no-no). Up to 10 days of self-quarantine will still be required. There’s no word yet it on if and when this might change.

Any changes for crew?

No – crew are already exempt from testing and quarantine rules when entering Canada, as long as they are on duty.

What about the other way round? Is the US open to arrivals from Canada?

Yes. The rules in the US are (comparably) fairly straight-forward.

The main one is this – with specific exemptions, foreign nationals are not allowed to enter the US if they have been in any of the following countries within the past 14 days: the European Schengen area, the UK and Ireland, mainland China, Iran, and Brazil. The ‘specific exemptions’ part basically means this: US residents and family members, and flight crew traveling to the US on C, D or C1/D visas. For more details, check the US CDC webpage here.

So for pax arriving from Canada, as long as they haven’t been any of these places within the past 14 days, they just need a Covid test or certificate of recovery to enter the US, regardless of vaccination status. More info here.

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Chris Shieff

Chris Shieff

OPSGROUP team member and A320 pilot. Based in sunny Auckland, New Zealand. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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