US travelers who used to take quick jaunts abroad to their neighbor to the north have been facing severe difficulties for the past two years. Canada closed its borders to most people on March 18, 2020, and every month afterward, the closure was extended — until August 2021.
In the summer of 2021, Canada eased its travel restrictions for US travelers, but it’s not without rules and requirements. Here’s the low-down for US travelers to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can US travelers come to Canada?
On July 19, 2021, the government of Canada announced the reopening of the country’s borders to US travelers starting August 9, 2021. However, certain conditions apply.
US travelers can enter Canada if:
- They have been fully vaccinated 14 days before entering Canada
- The vaccines they have received are approved by the government of Canada, i.e. AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Bharat Biotech, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm BIBP, Sinovac
- They have taken a COVID-19 molecular within 72 hours of their planned entry (if traveling by car, ferry, or train), or within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of their last direct flight to Canada, and the results are negative. Alternatively, travelers can provide a previous positive test result taken between 15 and 180 days.
What do US travelers to Canada need to present at the Canadian border?
- Pre-entry test results (see details of testing requirements above)
- Proof of vaccination in a paper or digital copy (see details of vaccination requirements above)
- A quarantine plan
- The ArriveCAN receipt available on the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travelers will obtain a receipt once they have uploaded their test results, their vaccination proof, their quarantine plan, and their passport info into ArriveCAN.
Do US travelers need to be tested on arrival in Canada?
US travelers crossing the land border will be given self-swab kits for them to test themselves at their destinations.
The Government of Canada advises all US air travelers to Canada to register in advance for potential arrival testing. If selected for arrival testing, air travelers will not be allowed to leave the airport before the testing is complete.
The following Canadian airports provide on-site testing for which you can register:
- Abbotsford (YXX) — LifeLabs
- Calgary (YYC) — Switch Health
- Edmonton (YEG) — Switch Health
- Halifax (YHZ) — Switch Health
- Hamilton (YHM) — Switch Health
- Kelowna (YLW) — LifeLabs
- Montreal (YUL) — Dynacare
- Ottawa (YOW) — Switch Health
- Quebec City (YQB) — Biron
- Regina (YQR) — LifeLabs
- Saskatoon (YXE) — LifeLabs
- St. John’s (YYT) — Switch Health
- Toronto (YTZ) — Switch Health
- Toronto (YYZ) — Switch Health
- Vancouver (YVR) — LifeLabs
- Victoria (YYJ) — LifeLabs
- Waterloo (YKF) — Switch Health
- Winnipeg (YWG) — Dynacare
A version of this article was previously published on November 5, 2020, and was updated on January 13, 2022, with more information.