The U.S.‑Canada border has been closed to non‑essential travel for a long, long while – since March 21, 2020, in fact – due to the global pandemic. However, this week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the U.S.‑Canada border will open for discretionary travel on August 9 for fully vaccinated Americans and September 7 for the rest of the world. From travelling to the U.S. and abroad to the latest quarantine rules, here’s what the Canada‑U.S. border reopening means for Canadians.
What does discretionary travel mean?
Everyone is throwing the term “discretionary travel” around, but what exactly does it mean? Quite simply: optional or non‑essential travel. After more than a year of only being allowed to board a plane for the purposes of “essential travel” (read: work, school, healthcare), the return of discretionary travel means getting to check the box on the immigration form that says you’re travelling for tourism, recreation and entertainment.
When can Canadians travel to the U.S.?
Is the U.S. border opening to Canadians as well? While Canadians who don’t display symptoms of Covid‑19 are allowed to fly into the U.S. (as long as they haven’t visited certain countries in the past 14 days, like Brazil and the United Kingdom, due to “variants and the continued spread of the disease”), President Joe Biden has yet to announce when the land border will reopen. Politicians from both U.S. parties have been putting pressure on Biden to reopen to Canadians.