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Canada opening border to foreign nationals starting Sept. 7

Last Updated Sep 4, 2021 at 6:05 pm EDT

A Canadian Border Securities Agency officer is seen in an undated file photo. FILE

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals meeting conditions to enter Canada for non-essential purposes will be able to do so starting this week.

Canada will start allowing nationals on Tuesday — a decision that was based on the latest available data, scientific evidence and epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally, the Canada Border Services Agency announced.

At each step of Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures, the public health indicators and importation of cases at the border and variants of concern among incoming travellers have been monitored, the agency said Friday.

For example, as the volume of travellers has increased in recent months, the border test positivity rate has remained low.

“Between August 9 and 26, the positivity rate for fully vaccinated travellers randomly selected for testing at the border was 0.19 [per cent] (112 positive tests out of 58,878 completed),” the agency said in its statement. “While cases are currently increasing in Canada, the illness severity and hospitalization rates remain manageable as Canada’s vaccination rates continue to rise.”

This data along with the continued adherence to public health measures by Canadians and incoming travellers means that Canada is “better able to prevent outbreaks of infection and can now allow more incoming fully vaccinated travellers without increasing the risk to the health and safety of Canadians,” CBSA added.

So, starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 7, fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be able to enter Canada for reasons like tourism, but these individuals must:

  • Be fully vaccinated and show proof of the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days before entering Canada. Accepted vaccines are those manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jenssen.
  • Have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border crossing, or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada. Antigen tests, or called “rapid tests” are not accepted.
  • Be asymptomatic.
  • Submit their mandatory information via Arrive CAN app or website, including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan.
  • Be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Take a test on arrival if selected.

Foreign nationals looking to travel for discretionary reasons before 12:01 a.m. on September 7 will not be allowed to enter Canada.

“The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others,” the CBSA said. “It is also important to note that not all countries are allowing discretionary (non-essential) travel by Canadians.”

Travellers should check the official websites of relevant authorities specific to their destination to find out entry and health requirements and plan prior to their departure from Canada.