For those wanting to plan a trip to Canada this year, there’s finally some good news. After almost a year and a half of closed borders, the Canadian government has announced that they are in a position to re-open to Americans by mid-August and other countries by early September.
Canada’s Current Border Restrictions
Canada’s border has been closed to non-essential travel since the pandemic began. Even for residents, it was difficult to get back into the country with a mandatory two-week quarantine partially in a hotel.
Last month, the government took the first step in restarting international travel by allowing fully vaccinated residents to come back to Canada without a quarantine. However, a negative Covid-19 test before and on arrival is still a requirement.
On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the end of mandatory quarantines for some fully vaccinated travelers has gone “extremely well.”
“Right now, we’ve seen a success where Canadians are able to come back to Canada, if they’re fully vaccinated, and not have to quarantine.”
“And that’s gone extremely well. So, we’re going to look at those next steps and we will make those announcements in due course in a responsible way.”
The border remains closed to everyone else who isn’t coming on essential business, but that could change soon according to Trudeau’s latest statement.
Canada Could Open to U.S. Travelers by Mid-August
The Canada-US border has been closed for non-essential travel since the pandemic began despite immense pressure from both sides to re-open.
Trudeau indicated that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into the country as of mid-August for non-essential travel.
This is the first time the Prime Minister has given a specific date for the border reopening and is sure to be welcome news for businesses on both sides. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion.
Trudeau said his ministers would share more details on the border early next week.
Canada Could Welcome Fully Vaccinated Travelers From All Countries by early September
Trudeau also said that Canada could welcome vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September if the current path continues.
“If our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.”
According to CBC’s vaccine tracker, over 79% of people aged 12 years or older in Canada have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 54% of people 12 years or older are fully vaccinated.
Trudeau said that case numbers and severe illnesses continue to decline across the country as vaccination rates continue to increase.
As for unvaccinated tourists, the prime minister has previously said that Canada will not welcome unvaccinated visitors for quite some time.
During the meeting with the first ministers, Trudeau also discussed the importance of working collaboratively on a proof of vaccination credential and prioritizing work to implement a system that would enable Canadians to travel internationally with confidence.
Earlier that day, the Canadian government also announced that it will allow large cruise ships in November, but they must fully comply with public health requirements.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com