Changes Coming to Canadian Border Restrictions

By Elizabeth M. Klarin

June 22, 2021 | Immigration Blog

As of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT, Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents and exempt foreign travelers will be cross the border into Canada without quarantining or doing extended COVID testing, provided they have received all required doses of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before their travel.
Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals—who have received a complete vaccine profile at least 14 days prior to entering Canada—will be allowed to enter the country without having to self-isolate/quarantine or stay at a government-authorized hotel, provided they have:
  • One of the COVID vaccinations approved by the Government of Canada (by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVIDSHIELD, or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson)
  • Completed the required pre-arrival COVID test and obtained a negative result;
  • Submit proof of full vaccination via Canada’s ArriveCAN app;
  • Can show documentation (in English or French, or with a certified translation) proving their vaccination status, on arrival;
  • Complete an on-arrival COVID test; 
  • Are symptom-free and have a quarantine plan ready, in case border officials determine they must self-isolate.
All travelers entering Canada will still be required to follow public health measures (such as wearing a mask when in public), keep a copy of their vaccine and test results with them, and keep a list of close contacts for 14 days after entry to Canada.
With this one exception for fully vaccinated travelers, bilateral travel restrictions at the northern border are set to continue until at least July 21.  This extends limitations on non-essential travel between the two countries that have been in place since March 2020—despite rumblings this month that the U.S. would open its borders at the end of June, with or without bilateral agreement with Canada on a policy change. 
Businesses and individuals with cross-border interests have been pushing for a relaxation of border restrictions, particularly as vaccination rates climb in both countries. However, on Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security announced via Twitter that U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed to nonessential travel "to reduce the spread" of COVID-19.
While this is certainly disappointing to many, change could come at any moment, and we anticipate that entry to the U.S. via land borders for the purpose of tourism or recreation could be possible as soon as this summer. Conversely, we believe it likely that non-vaccinated individuals will be unable to enter Canada for some time yet.
Please reach out to your Lippes immigration professional with any additional questions. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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