The U.S. will reopen its land border to fully vaccinated travellers from Canada. What you need to know about the new rules

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In March, 2020, the United States and Canada closed their borders to non-essential travel as COVID-19 spread. Canada opened its borders to fully vaccinated US residents on 9 August, and the rest of the world on 7 September, due to rising vaccination rates in both countries and the number of coronavirus cases overall. But Americans continued to block non-essential travel. US by land

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On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced its plans to open up America’s land and ferry crossings to fully vaccinate Canadians and Mexicans.

The US will reopen its land border to fully vaccinated Canadians in early November

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“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our wider economy,” US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Meyerkas said in a news release on Wednesday. “We are pleased to take steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday that some details related to border policy were still being discussed.

“We are working with our US partners to clarify and finalize all the details,” she said.

What are the restrictions on the Canada/US border now?

Since March 2020, Canadians have not been able to cross the land border for non-urgent reasons.

As of January this year, any Canadian wishing to travel to the US by air is required to be tested for COVID-19 at least three days prior to travel and any airline they are traveling with will receive a negative result. give.

Since this summer, US travelers have been able to skip quarantine upon arrival in Canada, provided they have been fully vaccinated – meaning they have received the full course of any Health Canada-approved vaccine – and tested negative. In September, fully vaccinated travelers from other countries were also allowed entry, as long as they did not test negative.

When is the US border reopening?

The news released by Mr Mayerkas said changes to allow non-essential land and ferry crossings in the US would happen in early November, but did not include a specific date.

To whom does this apply?

November’s change applies to non-essential travellers, meaning those who want to cross the border for family or tourism.

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Starting in January 2022, the US has said All passengers, including essential passengers – for example, truck drivers, students or health care workers – will be required to show proof of vaccination, which they are not currently obligated to do.

Does the US accept the vaccine mix? What about AstraZeneca?

Officials have not yet specified which COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted, or if mixed doses will meet the criteria for “fully vaccinated” travelers.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers full vaccination to be both doses of an approved two-dose shot — such as Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna — or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, plus a waiting time of two weeks. after the last dose.

Although research is showing that the mix-and-match regime – a viral vector vaccine, such as AstraZeneca, followed by an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna – produces a significant immune response, such mixed doses are universally recognized as complete. is not recognized. Vaccination.

About 3.9 million Canadians received a mixed dose — either a combination of Pfizer and Moderna, or the first shot of AstraZeneca followed by a second dose of Pfizer and Moderna.

The US CDC has yet to issue guidance on whether it considers a mixed-dose regimen to be effective. However, officials say CDC experts are actively exploring the issue of whether the US should allow travelers who have received a mix of vaccines.

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What is proof of vaccination?

It’s not clear what type of paperwork will be required at the US border.

What are the quarantine rules in Canada for people returning from the US or any other country?

Fully vaccinated travelers who provide a negative COVID-19 test can enter Canada and are not required to quarantine. It is likely that this rule will continue for Canadians returning home from travel in the US, but the government has not specifically said that it will. Travelers must receive a second dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before entering Canada.

Anyone entering Canada who has not been fully vaccinated will require a 14-day quarantine.

With a report from the Canadian Press

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Granthshala editors, giving you a brief summary of the day’s most important headlines. .

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