Last Updated on October 15, 2021
The official date of the re-opening of the Canada-U.S. border to fully-vaccinated Canadians has been announced as November 8.
“The White House is indicating the U.S. will start allowing vaccinated Canadians to enter the U.S. through land ports of entry beginning on Nov. 8,” tweeted New York Congressman Brian Higgins on Friday.
Border Closed To Non-Essential Travel For 19 Months
The Canada-U.S. border is re-opening to fully-vaccinated Canadians after almost 19 months.
“This is good news for businesses and families that have suffered under the continued border shutdown,” tweeted Higgins.
The congressman is currently trying to get more clarification on exactly what vaccines will be accepted at the border for Canadians travelling south.
“In Canada, four million are vaccinated with AstraZeneca and mixed doses but the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) currently doesn’t recommend them,” he tweeted. “With the border reopening on Nov. 8, the CDC needs to clarify so that our friends aren’t left stranded at the border.”
At the Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA), an association representing Canada’s land border duty-free stores, the re-opening was also met with enthusiasm.
But the FDFA pressed for more seamless border travel which would allow those coming to Canada to do so without needing a negative COVID-19 test.
“Our road to recovery also depends on Canadian government eliminating the negative PCR test requirement,” the association tweeted.
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Requirements To Enter Canada Do Not Change
Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, noted on Friday that the entry requirements for all non-essential travellers coming into Canada remain unchanged – and that includes mandatory pre-arrival COVID-19 tests and proof of vaccination.
“As always, make sure to check with (the American Department of Homeland Security) for official U.S. entry requirements prior to travelling,” tweeted Blair. “All travellers should also make sure they are eligible to re-enter Canada before leaving.”
The decision to allow fully-vaccinated Canadians into the United States means its Department of Homeland Security will be amending its Title 19 regulations to allow non-essential travelers who have been fully-vaccinated for COVID-19 and have documentation to prove it to enter the country at land and ferry ports of entry.
The move comes at the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control and public health experts in the United States and was announced by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
“In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,” he said.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Enthusiastic Watchers Await Details On Border Re-Opening
The U.S. is also planning to allow in fully-vaccinated foreign nationals starting in early January.
While support for the re-opening was immediate on social media, that enthusiasm was also tempered with caution as stakeholders on both sides of the border wait to learn of the details.
The Future Borders Coalition, an organization promoting efficiency and security at the border, supported the re-opening but indicated it wants more information on how everything will play out.
“We await details on testing protocols and other entry requirements. Adequate Customs Border Patrol staffing at the border and proof of vaccination solutions are essential to avoid delays,” the organization tweeted.
Let Us Reunite, a volunteer organization that’s been lobbying for travel exemptions to allow families to reunite across the Canada-U.S. border, echoed those sentiments.
“We look forward to an official briefing that includes details on the implementation date, clarity on those who received vaccine mixed doses, and for children under 12 who are unable to be vaccinated,” the organization tweeted.