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Can Americans Travel To Canada?

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Canada is a top destination among Americans with over 13 million visitors heading north per year prior to the pandemic. With the longest shared land border in the world, travel between Canada and the United States is a major driver of both nations tourism economies.

Now with tight border rules and travel restrictions, U.S. citizens are wondering, Can Americans travel to Canada?

Americans may not travel to Canada not for non-essential purposes such as tourism but there are many other essential reasons that permit Americans to travel to Canada

Here is what every American traveler needs to know before attempting to cross the Canadian border by car or plane during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aerial photo of downtown Vancouver, the Burrard Street Bridge and Stanley Park in the distance.
Aerial photo of downtown Vancouver, the Burrard Street Bridge and Stanley Park in the distance.

Americans Traveling To Canada By Land Border Crossing 

All Americans are currently prohibited from crossing the land border into Canada for non-essential reasons such as tourism . 

Americans crossing the border into Canada for essential reasons are permitted and include the following:

  • Foreign nationals who are immediate family members of either Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  •  Foreign workers
  • Vital health-care workers who live and work on opposite sides of the border.
  • Americans transiting directly to Alaska
  • Workers directly involved in the flow of trade and commerce
Street in Old Town Quebec City
Street in Old Town Quebec City

Americans Traveling to Canada by Air

Americans are currently prohibited from entering Canada for non-essential reasons by air.

Non-essential travel includes the following: 

  • Tourism
  • Recreational travel
  • Visiting family for a vacation;
  • Traveling to Canada for the birth of a new family member, although they may make an exception for the baby’s parent;
  • Visiting a secondary home even for the purposes of upkeep and maintenance
Downtown Toronto, Ontario
Downtown Toronto, Ontario

COVID-19 Entry Requirements For Permitted Americans Traveling To Canada

Americans traveling to Canada for essential reasons must follow all COVID-19 entry requirements:

  • Mandatory 14 day self-quarantine
  • Be asked if you have a suitable quarantine accommodation that does not put others at risk. 
  • Download the ArriveCAN App and enter all required information prior to arrival.
Skyline in Calgary, Alberta

Is Everything Open in Canada?

All businesses have reopened with the exception of nightclubs in some provinces. 

Restaurants, bars and alcohol sales may be on restricted hours in select provinces

Are Americans Required to Wear Face Masks in Canada?

Most provinces have enacted the mandatory use of face masks in public spaces. Failure to use a mask when required could result in fines from $200-$6000 in Ontario and Quebec. 

travel with mask at airport in canada
Traveler wears a mask at an airport in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

Advisory for Americans Regarding COVID-19 In Canada

Canada is also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently showing an increase in cases as of September 28th. Take all the same precautions as you would in the United States. 

Daily COVID-19 cases in Canada (Image- Worldometers)

Travel Off Path recommends all Americans traveling to Canada should have valid travel insurance that covers COVID-19

Canada has confirmed over 153,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 9200 deaths since the pandemic began. 

The Ambassador Bridge links Detroit, Michigan, USA with Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Tuesday 29th of September 2020

It says that for Americans with second homes in CA cannot enter for the purpose of maintaining their second property. How is this possible, if they reside part time in CA, do people have ability to own property without becoming a "resident"?


Tuesday 29th of September 2020

You forgot to mention the fines for people breaking the rules and stopping in Canada illegally.


Monday 28th of September 2020

Is the arrivrecan app now required? When i last entered Canada from the US the paper form could be used instead and seems to still indicate the same.

Kashlee Kucheran

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Hi rob, I am not sure if they are not allowing the paper form anymore, but I do know they are really pushing for the ArriveCan app