August 5, 2021
Canada Border Services Agency
Beginning on August 9th, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, fully vaccinated United States (U.S.) citizens and permanent residents will be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) reasons, such as tourism, however these individuals must:
1) be fully vaccinated: to be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
2) be residing in and travelling from the U.S.;
3) have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the U.S. (antigen tests are not accepted);
4) be asymptomatic;
5) submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN, including proof of vaccination in English or French;
6) be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
7) take a test on arrival, if required.
Additional measures will also take effect on August 9th at 12:01 a.m. EDT. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Allowing discretionary (non-essential) travel for fully vaccinated French citizens who reside in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and have only been in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, the United States or Canada 14 days before their arrival in Canada.
- U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are habitual residents of Hyder (Alaska), Northwest Angle (Minnesota) or Point Roberts (Washington) will be eligible to enter Canada to carry out everyday functions and access goods and services within their neighbouring Canadian communities, regardless of vaccination status, so long as they remain in those communities while in Canada.
- Travellers arriving by marine mode will be required to provide proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test result taken before arriving in Canada. They will also be required to submit their mandatory information including their proof of vaccination and suitable quarantine plan in ArriveCAN before or when entering Canada. If a boat does not land in Canada, doesn’t make contact with another boat, doesn’t moor or anchor while in Canadian waters, other than anchoring in accordance with the right of innocent passage under international law, the travellers will not be required to submit a pre-arrival test or their mandatory information via ArriveCAN.
- Fully vaccinated French citizens who reside in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and U.S. citizens and permanent residents arriving by air who are seeking to enter Canada for a discretionary (non-essential) purpose must submit their mandatory information, including their proof of vaccination, using ArriveCAN (mobile app or by signing in online) before they board their flight to Canada. Travellers who are unable to show their ArriveCAN receipt – either on their mobile device or a printed copy – will not be allowed to board their flight.
- Government approved accommodation (GAA) will be eliminated for all travellers.
- International arrivals will be expanded to the following airports: Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, and Edmonton International Airport.
- Mandatory randomized testing for fully vaccinated travellers arriving at designated ports of entry will be implemented.
It is important to note that travellers arriving before 12:01 a.m. EDT on August 9th will not benefit from these eased border measures.
While Canada is moving forward with these measures, it’s important to note that the U.S is not opening its land border to Canadians for discretionary (non-essential) travel at this time. For information about U.S. requirements, please contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Mandatory pre-arrival molecular test result
Travellers eligible to enter Canada continue to be required to have a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Canada or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada. They must provide proof of their test result to a Government of Canada official at the border. Antigen tests are not accepted.
Mandatory submission of information including digital proof of vaccination via ArriveCAN
Fully vaccinated travellers must submit their mandatory information including their digital proof of vaccination in English or French using ArriveCAN (mobile app or by signing in online) within 72 hours before arriving at the border (or when entering Canada by marine mode). A new version of ArriveCAN will be released on August 9, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. EDT. Importantly, individuals travelling on or after August 9 should submit their information after this time. Travellers using the App must ensure they have the most up-to-date version available in the Google Play Store or the App Store for iPhone as of August 9th.
If travellers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can have a friend or family member enter the information for them.
Again, it is important to note that fully vaccinated French citizens residing in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and U.S. citizens and permanent residents, arriving by air, who are seeking to enter Canada for a discretionary (non-essential) purpose must submit their information using ArriveCAN (App or website) before they board their flight to Canada. Travellers who are unable to show their ArriveCAN receipt – either on their mobile device or a printed copy – will not be allowed to board their flight.
In addition to their ArriveCAN receipt, travellers must retain a copy (paper or electronic) of their proof of vaccination and the originals of any certified translations available for verification at the border and for 14 days following their entry to Canada.
New border testing surveillance program for fully vaccinated travellers
All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, still require a pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result. However, effective August 9th, there will be a modification to the current testing approach for fully vaccinated travellers at the border to a surveillance program. This surveillance program will allow the Government of Canada to meet its responsibility for protecting the health of those in Canada while minimizing burden on individual travellers and bolstering program sustainability.
A border testing surveillance program for fully vaccinated travellers represents a shift away from testing all travellers on arrival in Canada towards a focus on tracking COVID-19 activity and identifying new variants, including ones capable of vaccine escape.
Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to take a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. All travellers who are randomly selected for the border testing surveillance program must complete the mandatory testing requirements. Failure to do so may result in fines. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
Vaccinated parents travelling with unvaccinated children
Effective August 9th, unvaccinated children under 12 years of age of fully vaccinated parents and/or guardians will be exempt from quarantine that will allow them to accompany their parents/guardians, provided they follow enhanced public health measures.
Unvaccinated children between the ages of 12-17 and dependent children (18+) due to a mental or physical condition are permitted to enter Canada with their fully vaccinated parents and/or guardians, but are subject to the 14-day quarantine.
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.
Testing and quarantine is still required for travellers who are not fully vaccinated
Other than the changes for habitual residents of Hyder (Alaska), Northwest Angle (Minnesota) or Point Roberts (Washington), there are no changes to testing and quarantine requirements for other travellers who are not fully vaccinated but eligible to enter Canada such as those entering by right – Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act. They are still subject to quarantine, all testing requirements (pre-arrival, upon arrival/day-1 and on day 8) and the mandatory submission of travel, contact and quarantine information via ArriveCAN.
Get informed and be prepared
Before heading to the border, travellers should inform themselves and fully understand their obligations by ensuring their eligibility to enter Canada and reviewing the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada Web page.
Travellers to Canada may experience delays at the border due to the enhanced public health measures. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will not compromise the health and safety of Canadians for the sake of border wait times. The CBSA thanks travellers for their collaboration and patience.
Upcoming changes for all other fully vaccinated foreign nationals
On September 7, 2021, provided that Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology remains favourable, the Government of Canada intends to allow discretionary (non-essential) travel by travellers from any country who have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada-accepted vaccines at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements. More information will be made available soon.
- Find out if you can enter Canada – Travel restrictions in Canada
- COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada
- News release – Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers
- Backgrounder – Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada – Permitting discretionary travel for citizens and permanent residents of the United States
Public Health Agency of Canada
Canada Border Services Agency
613-957-6500 or 1-877-761-5945