Oh Canada, we have missed thee. Canada opened its border to Americans on August 9th. Americans can feel relatively safe upon arrival to Canada, which has one of the highest-vaccinated populations in the world. More than 80 percent of people 12 and older have received at least one dose, and more than 68 percent are fully vaccinated. If you’re looking to take a trip to the Great White North, here’s what experts say you need to know before packing your bags.
If you plan on taking a flight into Canada, before boarding Americans must present proof of full vaccination, as well as a negative molecular Covid-19 test (PCR for instance) within 72 hours of your flight’s departure time. And don’t cut the test’s timing close, even if you’re a few minutes off of the 72 hour time limit, you’ll end up paying for a very expensive replacement test. I highly recommend having a paper copy of your test results for the gate agent(s) to review. And while you’re at the printer, print out a paper copy of your boarding pass.
You’ll also need your original proof of vaccination card. And lastly, an app called ArriveCAN is needed, as you’ll need to upload a photograph of that card up to 72 hours before your flight. You’ll have to answer questions to make the customs process easier. You will need to have a quarantine plan in place and enter that info in the app (that’s why travel insurance is essential…I don’t recommend traveling without it).
If you’re crossing into Canada by land, you’ll need your documentation and a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of your arrival at the border, OR proof of a positive coronavirus test taken between 14 and 180 days before arrival.
Unvaccinated travelers are allowed into Canada, if traveling by land, but you do have to quarantine and take a coronavirus test on day 8.
So now that you’ve crossed the border (assuming all went well at the border or at the airport terminal gate), there’s one more thing you have to do: Get tested again. All travelers need to take either a free arrival test, or receive a free home test kit to complete that day. No exceptions. The home test kit will provide information on how to set up a video call with an official who will guide you through administering the test, to preparing it for delivery to a lab. If your test comes back negative, you’re free to go about your vacation. If your test comes back positive, you’ll need to quarantine for 14 days at the location you indicated on your ArriveCAN quarantine plan.
And when you’re ready to leave Canada to return back home if flying, you’ll need to get a coronavirus test. You can find info on the US Embassy website. If driving back to the US, you do not need to be tested.