After more than a year of closures, Canada finally has a plan to reopen its borders.
Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will once again be able to enter Canada for non-essential travel without quarantines starting on Aug. 9, the Canadian federal government announced on Monday.
Starting then, U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated will be able to avoid quarantines and will not be required to be tested upon arrival, unless randomly selected for testing at a crossing.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will still be subjected to those quarantine rules and on-arrival testing. And while things are moving forward for vaccinated travelers, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters earlier this month that there are no plans to allow foreign tourists who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country.
U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated will be able to enter Canada almost a full month before other international travelers. Those inbound travelers will get the go-ahead on Sept. 7.
Also on Monday, Canada announced that its hotel quarantine system, which required air travelers to spend three days in a government-approved hotel, will also end on Aug. 9.
For unvaccinated children under 12-years-old, as long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian, they will also not be required to quarantine upon arrival, though they will still need to undergo testing on day one and day eight after arriving in Canada.
The news comes a few days after Canadian Prime Minister teased an announcement and more than a year since Americans and Canadians last enjoyed regular border operations between the two countries.
In a statement reacting to the news, U.S. Travel Association EVP of policy and public affairs Tori Emerson Barnes said that "Canada is getting this right" while pushing for the U.S. to reciprocate.
"Travel is a core component of the economy and job creation, and today’s announcement will spur a rebound of both in Canada. While we have stated that vaccines should not be a requirement for travel, we strongly encourage all Americans to get a vaccine, and we commend Canada for starting this process to restore border travel.
“We urge the Biden administration to reciprocate by determining a date and a plan to welcome Canadian visitors at U.S. land borders. Land travel accounted for more than half of all overnight visits to the U.S. by Canadians pre-pandemic, so taking this step – given the strong rates of vaccination in Canada – will help the U.S. begin safely rebuilding with its No. 1 source market of international visitors."