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Canada to re-open borders to vaccinated U.S. visitors on August 9. Here's what you need to know.

The Ambassador Bridge.
Lester Graham

Sixteen months after border restrictions first went into effect, people from Michigan will be able to visit Canada (by air or land) once again this summer.

The Canadian government announced Monday it plans to re-open the border to vaccinated U.S. citizens and residents starting August 9.

For essential travelers, who transport goods, or travel to Canada for work, the border has remained open throughout the pandemic. Statisticsfrom the Canadian government show a steady stream of trucks has continued to roll across the border with the U.S., even surpassing numbers from before the pandemic.

But the steady stream of tourists from Michigan that existed before the pandemic has dried up.

Now, even as concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of the virus continue to grow, Canada says those tourists can return. But there are still restrictions on who can enter.

Here’s what you’ll need to know to plan your visit:

Credit Public Health Agency of Canada

You must be vaccinated.

Canada’s loosened visitor restrictions only apply to U.S. citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated. That means you can’t visit Canada until at least 14 days after your last dose of a COVID vaccine. Canada will require proof of vaccination, and anyone who submits false documentation could face a fine of up to $750,000 and imprisonment.

You must test negative for COVID within 72 hours of your visit.

Canada requires proof of a negative test result from a valid molecular test. For more information on which tests are accepted, and what proof is needed, gohere.

You must fill out an online form before your arrival.

Canada uses an app called ArriveCAN for gathering information on travelers. You can sign in through the web or download an app. You can find both options online here. ArriveCAN is where you can submit electronic proof of your vaccination (you also need to keep this proof with you for your visit). You’ll also be asked to make a quarantine plan in case you’re exposed to the virus while in Canada.

You must be asymptomatic when you arrive.

For more detailed information on Canada’s plan to reopen to U.S. visitors, you can read through the government’s “backgrounder” page here.

For now, this plan only applies to U.S. citizens and residents. The Canadian government says it plans to reopen its borders to non-essential travelers from other nations starting September 7. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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