United States officials have showed no signs of easing travel restrictions for Canadians, who are barred from entering the U.S. at land borders despite Canada loosening its entry rules for fully vaccinated Americans.
Nonetheless, the U.S. State Department has gone ahead and lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada to "Level 2,” reports revealed on Tuesday (Aug 10).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done the same, adjusting its travel warning for Canada to a Level 2 rating.
A quick look at this interactive map run by the CDC now shows Canada in a calmer state of Level 2 orange.
According to the CDC’s website, Level 2 indicates a “moderate level of COVID-19.”
For Level 2 countries, the CDC advises travellers to make sure they are fully vaccinated before starting their journey.
“Unvaccinated travellers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to Canada,” the CDC warns.
The CDC also recommends travellers follow health requirements in Canada, such as wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others.
Americans return to Canada
This week, on Monday, August 9, Canada reopened its land borders to American travellers for the first time in nearly 17 months.
Canada and the U.S. barred all leisure travel at its shared land border in March 2020 to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
While the U.S. side of the land border remains closed, Canadians, throughout the pandemic, have still been allowed to enter the U.S. by air.
U.S. travel restrictions for non-essential travel at both the Canadian and Mexican land borders are set to expire on Aug. 21, but reports indicate that the order will likely be extended.
Under Canada’s new measures, eligible U.S. visitors must be fully vaccinated with a Health Canada-approved vaccine for at least 14 days.
Americans – entering Canada by both land and air – must also show proof of a negative 72-hour molecular COVID-19 test and use the ArriveCAN app, or this online web portal, to upload their vaccination documents.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19, and are eligible to enter Canada, will be allowed to show proof of a positive molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to entering.
Reopening the border to U.S. citizens who have had their full series of shots “is the right step to do,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at a news conference on July 27.
“The health data is fairly clear that encouraging or allowing for travel of fully vaccinated individuals is low risk. It’s not zero risk, but it is low risk,” Trudeau said at the time.
As part of a phased reopening of travel, the Liberal government’s next step is to allow fully vaccinated visitors from other parts of the world to return to Canada starting Sept. 7.