Canadian borders will fully reopen within two months - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

BlogCanadian borders will fully reopen within two months

20 July 2021

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On July 19, 2021 the Public Health Agency of Canada announced plans to fully reopen Canada’s borders to international travellers by September 7, 2021. This inspiring news reflects the fact that more than 75% of our adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 50% are fully vaccinated.

The gradual reopening of Canada’s borders began last month in June 2021 when our government announced new quarantining exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers. Continuing this trend, the latest announcement to fully reopen the borders will unfold in two phases over the next two months.

First, Canada plans on reopening its borders as of August 9, 2021 to American citizens and permanent residents for non-essential travel if they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering Canada. This will serve as a soft opening, which will immediately address the strong demand for non-essential travel from American travellers who have been eagerly waiting for the borders to reopen, while also giving border officials time to adjust to new border measures regarding COVID-19 testing and quarantining.

Specifically, effective August 9, 2021, Canada will eliminate mandatory post-arrival COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated travellers. All travellers coming to Canada, whether fully vaccinated or not, are still required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before arriving in Canada and they may be selected for random COVID-19 testing after arrival. Moreover, all travellers are still expected to prepare a quarantine plan in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the requirements for a quarantine exemption. However, mandatory stays at government approved hotels are also being eliminated for fully vaccinated air travellers.

Please refer to the following link to see our previous blog about quarantine plans:

In addition to these new border measures, starting August 9, 2021 international travellers will be able to fly to five additional airports in Canada in Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton. Previously, most commercial passengers arriving by air to Canada had to land in one of the four approved international airports in Calgary, Montréal, Vancouver and Toronto, which allowed Canadian border officials to effectively implement and monitor the efficacy of COVID-19 testing and quarantining measures to safeguard Canadians from the spread of the disease.

In phase two, Canada plans to completely reopen its borders to fully vaccinated international travellers on September 7, 2021.

As an immigration lawyer, I have consulted with many clients over the past 15 months who were not able to enter Canada based on our travel restrictions that seemed to change from week to week. There were many frustrations over uncertainties about who could be exempt from the blanket travel prohibition against non-essential travel, who could be exempted from the strict quarantining requirements, and how these exemptions could be applied for and how quickly they could be obtained.

The government’s July 19, 2021 announcement represents one of the biggest milestones on our path to returning to pre-pandemic life. At this early stage, however, Canada’s plans to reopen its borders are still conditional based on in-Canada and worldwide COVID-19 vaccination trends, particularly with respect to the impact of COVID-19 variants. Accordingly, interested travellers should stay current on the latest border measures before making plans for non-essential travel to Canada.

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