Canada welcomes fully vaccinated American travelers starting at midnight

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, US travelers who have been given two doses of the Health Canada-approved vaccine will be allowed to enter Canadian territory.

But reciprocity is not correct.

To enter the country, these travelers will need to live in the United States, receive their second dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival, and show evidence of a negative test no later than 72 hours later.

They can also use the ArriveCAN app or a file Internet portal To download their vaccination information.

Dennis Vinnett, deputy head of the Canada Border Services Agency’s Travel Directorate, says she learned a lot when properly vaccinated Canadian citizens were allowed back into the country last month.

Mr Venet says 50% of them were rejected within the first week because they had not received one of the four vaccines currently approved by Health Canada.

“We found that many travelers mistakenly believed that they had met all the requirements for vaccination,” he explains. First, it had not been 14 days since they received their second dose. Second, many people who got a vaccine other than Health Canada’s thought they were exempt from quarantine requirements. “

Health Canada has given the green light to four vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson single-dose.

“We had a lot of people who didn’t have a full understanding of what was allowed and what was not,” says Vinnett. I expect the same, but since vaccines given in the US are approved by Canadian authorities, I expect it to be less of a problem. “

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There is no reciprocity

The United States is unsure when it will begin easing its own restrictions on non-essential Canadian travelers at border crossings. Passengers traveling on plane and boat are excluded.

The White House said last week that it was studying the possibility of requiring visitors to be fully vaccinated, although it was not yet clear whether that would include Canadians.

The United States has maintained strict restrictions on the number of foreign visitors from China, India, Ireland, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and all 26 European countries in the Schengen Area.

Usually, Canada and Mexico are generally considered a separate category, especially because of the close trade relations between the three countries. Canadian and Mexican visitors do not need to go through a private company to enter the United States.

Observers note some concern within the Biden administration about allowing Canadian travelers to return to the United States without giving Mexicans the same opportunity. The status of potential refugees remains a challenge in the White House.

Travelers entering Canada from the United States will need to be patient, as many people may be rejected.

« [Les personnes] Not having all the required information will be refused entry into the country. They will only be sent to the United States, after which they can meet all the requirements, and then try to enter again. “

Passengers arriving by air can expect delays as well.

At Toronto’s Bison International Airport, one of four in the country accepting flights from abroad, travelers have already warned that the wait could exceed three hours.

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Canadians are increasingly comfortable traveling by air, which means more travelers at airports. Those all face increased health and safety checks, a spokeswoman for Beverly MacDonald said.

“There are a variety of factors that affect waiting time on arrival including additional medical examination due to government requirements, vaccination status, immigration processing, and multiple flights can occur. At the same time…” they multiplied.

Pearson saw nearly twice as many passengers in the second quarter than in the same months in 2020 — although its daily average of 11,500 passengers is well below the 2019 average of 140,000.

Montreal Trudeau International Airport is seeing an increase in arrivals from month to month. So its June average was only 10% of the 2019 average, but it rose to 20% in July and expects another jump to 30% in August.

“Even if we are used to welcoming many more passengers to our facilities, longer wait times can be expected, especially for international arrivals, depending on the time of day,” spokeswoman Anne-Sophie Hamel said.

The federal government is currently planning to allow vaccinated visitors from countries other than the United States to come to Canada for non-essential reasons from September 7.

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