It's time to start planning that road trip you've been waiting for! The land border between Canada and the United States reopened on November 8, and there are fewer and fewer restrictions for travelling abroad — as long as you're fully vaccinated.
According to several media sources, you may soon be able to re-enter Canada without presenting a negative PCR test if you've only left the country for less than 72 hours. According to TVA, this change could come as early as November 21, when the current travel rules are set to expire.
This measure would be valid for all travel, whether by air or land, from all countries, according to Radio-Canada.
Currently, Canadian travellers must pay up to $300 for a PCR test to return to Canada, whether or not they are vaccinated, even if the trip outside Canada was less than 72 hours.
In other words, right now, if you want to hit the states for a little weekend getaway or even just a few hours of shopping, you must present a PCR test with a negative result to customs upon your return. This test must be done within 72 hours before you return to Canada.
The supposed updates would mean that if you decide to leave for less than three days, you won't have to take a PCR test, which could save you some serious cash.
Despite what looks like a huge spike in tourism to Quebec this August, way more people entered Canada via Ontario during the summer months. Do tourists just not like us as much? We're clearly the better province... right?
According to recent data on travel into Canada by Statistics Canada, 239,776 more tourists visited Ontario than Quebec from May to August 2021.
A total of 141,207 non-resident international tourists entered Canada via Quebec from May to August. The highest number of tourists came in August, with 79,037 non-resident tourists entering through Quebec.
The spike in August tourism was also significant in Ontario, with 237,599 non-resident tourists entering via the province. It's wild to think that more tourists entered via Ontario in the month of August than they did via Quebec all summer, but this is where we're at.
In terms of travellers crossing the land border from the U.S. specifically, Quebec started out the summer with only 14,578 U.S. vehicles entering in May and gradually increased over the next couple of months.
U.S. tourism to Quebec had a huge spike in August — when Canada reopened its border to fully vaccinated Americans — with 34,905 vehicles making their way up north via Quebec's border.
Ontario saw increasing numbers of U.S. vehicles throughout the summer, peaking at 178,601 in August. A total of 464,402 American vehicles crossed into Ontario from May to August.
It seems as though the federal government is constantly updating Canada's travel rules, so we decided to put together a list of the newest changes to help make your life a little easier.
Although the new rules won't impact everyone, it's always good to stay up to date with them. Here are the answers to some questions you may have floating around in your head regarding the newest updates.
Has the list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines changed?
The Government of Canada will adjust some of Canada\u2019s border measures beginning on Nov. 30 to include additional #COVID19 vaccines accepted for entry to Canada and changes to certain exemptions, testing and #ArriveCAN requirements. \n\nFor more information: http://ow.ly/q38t50GScza\u00a0pic.twitter.com/XRvxE50wLT
— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)
It will soon. Starting November 30, 2021, Canada will be expanding its list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines travellers can have received in order to be considered "fully vaccinated."
Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN are being added to Canada's list.
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) will continue to be considered eligible vaccines as well.
So, travellers who leave and then re-enter Canada by land or air within three days won't have to take a PCR test before coming back to the country.
Luckily, this makes quick road trips across the border a little easier. For anyone who hopes to drive from Canada to the U.S. and back within 72 hours, no COVID-19 tests will be necessary since the United States does not require testing at its land borders.
However, if you're planning to fly to the U.S. from Canada, you'll still need a negative COVID-19 test, plus proof of full vaccination, to enter the States — no matter how long you plan on staying. Unlike Canada, the U.S. accepts antigen tests.
Have the rules for trips over 72 hours changed?
As of right now, no. The rules have not changed for those leaving Canada for longer than 72 hours.
If your trip outside of Canada lasts more than 72 hours, you must provide a negative pre-entry molecular (PCR) test taken in the 72 hours before arriving. Antigen tests are still not accepted.
Testing restrictions also have not loosened for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers.
The government recently announced that some travellers who were previously exempt from entry requirements will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to enter Canada as of January 15, 2022.
This includes international students aged 18 and over, professional and amateur athletes, individuals with valid work permits and essential service providers, including truck drivers.
It will also apply to "individuals travelling to reunite with family," although eligible unvaccinated children travelling for this reason will remain exempt.
What's happening with Canada's vaccine passport?
Vaccination against COVID-19 is becoming a requirement for both domestic and international travel in Canada starting November 30, 2021. This means a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to full vaccination.
So if you're hoping to go see your family in another province for Christmas, you'll have to be fully vaccinated.
This new rule won't apply to cases where an individual has a valid medical exemption.
Anyone hoping to take a trip within or outside of the country should look into downloading Canada's vaccine passport for travel, which is now available in all of the provinces and territories except Alberta.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The change is set to come into effect on November 30, the feds announced, and it applies to trips by both land and air. But there are conditions.
Foreign nationals, including those residing in Canada temporarily (e.g., international students, foreign workers) will still be required to provide proof of a valid pre-entry molecular test, even for trips of less than 72 hours.
For starters, the new rule only applies to travellers who are fully vaccinated. In fact, vaccination will be required for all air and rail travel within Canada as well as when departing Canada as of November 30, barring certain exemptions.
It also only applies to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act. It does not apply to foreign nationals.
That means if you're an international student or foreign worker, you'll still need proof of a valid molecular test to enter Canada, even if your trip was less than 72 hours.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government is re-evaluating the entry requirement for U.S. citizens coming to Canada. He said updates on adjustments will be provided at a later date.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The time has finally come — we can road trip to the states again! The U.S. border officially reopened to fully vaxxed Canadians as of November 8 and between vaccinations, testing and quarantines, you're probably got a lot of questions floating around in your head.
So here's everything you need to know before you hit the road.
Do I need to be vaccinated to cross the land border?
Yes, you must be fully vaccinated.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals for non-essential reasons such as tourism."
The only exception is that vaccination is not currently required for essential travel, such as for work, yet. Essential travellers will need to be double vaccinated starting in January 2022.
Essential travel across the land border has been permitted since the beginning of the pandemic.
Which vaccines are accepted?
The U.S. recognizes the following World Health Organization (WHO) validated vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series COVID-19 vaccine;
2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an "active" (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials; or
2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any "mix-and-match" combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.
What proof of vaccination do I need to present to customs?
Your Quebec QR code won't do any good in the U.S.
Instead, you must present your federal vaccination passport at customs. It is available for download from the Quebec government's self-service portal. It will be delivered in PDF format directly to your cell phone or by mail.
The Government of Canada recommends that you download this proof of immunization at the earliest possible date of your travel to the United States.
Note that upon your return to Canada, this same federal vaccination passport is what you'll need to add to the ArriveCan application.
Do I need to have a negative screening test to enter the United States by car?
"There is not a COVID-19 testing requirement for travelers at land border ports of entry, however valid COVID-19 vaccination is required for documented non-citizens traveling for non-essential purposes," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website explained in its frequently asked questions.
A negative COVID-19 test is only required for travellers arriving by air.
Will I have to wait hours at the border?
Homeland security warns that we should expect "longer wait times."
To speed up the process, the U.S. government invites you to download ArriveCan's cousin, CBP One. This mobile app serves as your vaccine passport as it adds all the necessary documents to present to customs.
Do I need to quarantine when I arrive in the United States?
Nope — there's no quarantine for travellers arriving in the U.S. via the land border.
Do I need to test negative when I return to Canada?
You must have a negative test upon your return to Canada whether you're vaccinated or not.
You must do a molecular test, a PCR test, within 72 hours before your return to Canada.
Can I take the PCR test in Canada before leaving for the United States?
Yes, but only if your trip to the U.S. is less than 72 hours.
"Canadian citizens (including dual citizens), people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents of Canada, or protected persons (refugee status) are allowed to enter Canada," the government confirms.