After nearly 20 months of closures, today’s the day that the U.S. border reopens to Canada. Fully vaccinated Canadians are officially welcome for non-essential visits through all ports of entry, including ferries and land borders. But, taking a trip down south isn’t as simple as packing your bags and hitting the road.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says that Canadian travellers will be asked about their vaccination status and may have to show proof upon request. As of right now, all Health Canada-approved vaccines are accepted as long as it’s been at least 14 days since your second dose. Children under 18 years old are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
Canadians won’t be asked for proof of a negative COVID-19 test to get into the States at the land border, according to CBC. However, visitors are asked to have all their documents ready to speed up wait times, which could be longer than normal.
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A print or digital version of your vaccination certificate or your government-issued QR code are considered valid forms of proof, along with your passport, of course.
As for getting back home, the requirements are a little bit different. Those crossing back into Canada from the U.S. will have to present a negative PCR test result, and that applies to everyone over the age of five. The test must be taken within 72 hours of your arrival, with the results uploaded on the ArriveCAN app.
But, if you’re taking a quick overnight trip across the border, you’re allowed to take a pre-arrival molecular test before you leave Canada, as long as it’s within the 72-hour window. Just keep in mind that rapid antigen tests won’t be accepted. There’s also a chance that you may get selected for a random COVID-19 test at the Canadian border.
Travellers that aren’t fully vaccinated who are eligible to enter Canada will be subject to different requirements, including additional COVID-19 tests and 14-day quarantine.