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Canada to let vaccinated U.S. citizens enter country on Aug. 9

The Canadian government announced it will reopen the border to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9. However, it will not be as easy as just showing up at the border.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada for what officials call “discretionary” travel only if they have been fully vaccinated and asymptomatic with a negative COVID-19 test — within 72 hours of entry to Canada and also then uploaded to the ArriveCAN app. 

Border authorities have allowed only essential travel — for family illnesses and funerals and other emergencies — to cross by land since March 2020.

During a news conference announcing the changes, a reporter asked Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair specifically about Point Roberts, Wash. He said this will also allow people there to drive into Canada and into the United States.

“I believe that this will facilitate not perfectly, but it's a significant improvement for the people in that community to be able to travel into Canada,” Blair said. “They're immediately adjacent, obviously to Canada, to attend for purposes of doctor's appointments, shopping, on visiting with family and friends.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans into the country as of mid-August for nonessential travel and should be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.

“This weekend, we even passed the U.S. in terms of fully vaccinated people,” Trudeau said. “Thanks to the rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, we are able to move forward with adjusted border measures.”

Reopening to the U.S first is a “recognition of our unique bond, especially between border communities," Trudeau said.

Asked if the U.S. would reciprocate, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, "We are continuing to review our travel restrictions. Any decisions about resuming travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. ... I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.”

Canadians have always been allowed to fly into United States with a negative COVID-19 test taken beforehand.

The current border restrictions are due to expire on July 21. 

The Canadian government also announced Monday that other international travelers will be able to enter Canada beginning Sept. 7.

The U.S. Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion. Canadian officials say Canada had about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019 — about 15 million of them from the United States.   

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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