Canada announces wide border reopening in September

The country's airlines had been encouraging the government to restart international travel for vaccinated passengers. 

Canada, which has had some of the most stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions in the world, indicated it will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated passengers on Sept. 7. 

The Canadian government “intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travelers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements,” Ottawa said in a statement. 

As a first step, US citizens and Canadian permanent residents who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to fly to Canada on August 9 for “non-essential travel.”   

Passengers arriving in Canada will be required to use the “ArriveCAN” app or web portal to submit their travel information. “If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, fully vaccinated travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada,” the government stated.  

Previously, Canada had mandated quarantines even for passengers who had tested negative for COVID-19. 

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Canada has been limiting all international arrivals to just four airports: Calgary (YYC), Montréal (YUL), Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR). But, effective Aug. 9, five more airports will be allowed to handle international flights arriving in Canada: Edmonton (YEG), Halifax (YHZ), Ottawa (YOW), Québec City (YQB) and Winnipeg (YWG). 

All passengers “regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result,” the Canadian government said. But fully vaccinated passengers will no longer need a post-arrival test unless they have been “randomly selected,” Ottawa said, adding: “This strategy allows the government of Canada to continue monitoring [COVID-19] variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness.” 

Canada is eliminating the mandatory three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel for all passengers arriving in the country by air as of Aug. 9.  

"With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures,” Canadian health minister Patty Hajdu said. “A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad.” 

Following the news of the border reopening, Air Canada announced a summer US transborder schedule that will include 55 routes to 34 destinations with up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada.  

“The new schedule coincides with the loosening of restrictions on travel between the two countries as of Aug. 9, 2021, enabling fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada for non-essential travel and the removal of quarantine hotel requirements, relaxed testing requirements allowing Canadians taking short transborder trips for less than 72 hours to do their pre-entry tests in Canada, among other measures to ease restrictions,” Air Canada said.  

Senior VP of network planning and revenue management Mark Galardo added: “Air Canada's proud tradition of being the largest foreign carrier in the US is reflected in our schedule, which has been developed to provide a wide range of choices for customers in both countries, appealing to Canadian customers interested in traveling to popular US destinations and to US residents looking to visit and explore Canada's spectacular sights and hospitality. Our schedule also enables convenient onward travel through our Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal hubs to and from our global destinations. We are planning to restore services to all 57 US destinations previously served as conditions allow.” 

Montreal – USA routes

Frequencies per week

Notes

Montreal-Boston

14

 

Montreal-Chicago

21

 

Montreal-Denver

7

 

Montreal-Newark

14

 

Montreal-Fort Lauderdale

7

 

Montreal-Houston

7

 

Montreal-LaGuardia

21

 

Montreal-Las Vegas

3

restarts Sept. 9

Montreal-Los Angeles

7

 

Montreal-Orlando

3

 

Montreal-San Francisco

7

 

Montreal-Washington Dulles

7

 

Montreal-Washington National

14

restarts Sept. 7

     

Toronto – USA routes

   

Toronto-Atlanta

14

 

Toronto-Austin

5

restarts Sept. 9

Toronto-Boston

21

 

Toronto-Charlotte

7

restarts Sept. 7

Toronto-Chicago

28

 

Toronto-Cincinnati

7

restarts Sept. 7

Toronto-Cleveland

7

restarts Aug. 1

Toronto-Columbus

7

 

Toronto-Dallas

14

restarts Sept. 7

Toronto-Denver

14

 

Toronto-Detroit

7

 

Toronto-Fort Lauderdale

8

 

Toronto-Fort Myers

2

restarts Aug. 1

Toronto-Houston

21

 

Toronto-Las Vegas

4

restarts Aug. 1

Toronto-Los Angeles

21

 

Toronto-LaGuardia

35

 

Toronto-Minneapolis-Saint Paul

7

restarts Sept. 7

Toronto-Nashville

4

restarts Aug. 30

Toronto-Newark

28

 

Toronto-Orlando

5

 

Toronto-Philadelphia

7

 

Toronto-Phoenix

3

restarts Aug. 2

Toronto-Pittsburgh

7

restarts Aug. 1

Toronto-Raleigh Durham

14

restarts Sept. 7

Toronto-Seattle

4

restarts Aug. 1

Toronto-San Francisco

14

 

Toronto-Tampa

5

 

Toronto-Washington Dulles

21

 

Toronto-Washington National

14

restarts Sept. 7

     

Vancouver – USA routes

   

Vancouver-Chicago

7

restarts Sept. 7

Vancouver-Denver

14

 

Vancouver-Honolulu

3

restarts Aug. 2

Vancouver-Las Vegas

4

restarts Sept. 7

Vancouver-Los Angeles

21

 

Vancouver-Maui

3

restarts Aug. 3

Vancouver-Newark

7

restarts Sept. 7

Vancouver-Portland

14

 

Vancouver-Phoenix

5

 

Vancouver-San Diego

7

restarts Aug. 1

Vancouver-San Francisco

21

 

Vancouver-Seattle

14

 
     

Calgary – USA routes

   

Calgary-Phoenix

3

restarts Aug. 1

Photo credit: Air Canada