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Here's Everything We Know So Far About The Canada-US Border Reopening

Big travel updates are expected within just "weeks."🇨🇦🇺🇸

For the past 15 months, the Canada-U.S. border has remained closed to all non-essential travel and discretionary travellers.

Now — for the first time since it was initially halted in March 2020 — officials on both sides of the border are discussing how to restart travel between the two countries.

Here's everything we know so far about possible dates for reopening, the plan for restarting non-essential travel and whether fully vaccinated people will be allowed to cross the border first:

When is the Canada-U.S. border reopening?

At the moment, there is no set date for the Canada-U.S. border to reopen for discretionary travel.

However, we do know that the current ban on non-essential trips is set to end on July 21, 2021.

While this ban has now been extended a whopping fifteen times in total, there's reason to believe that things could be different this time.

That's because Canada has already committed to easing some travel restrictions here at home for fully vaccinated travellers, starting in July.

Additionally, earlier this month the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered the Risk Assessment Level for COVID-19 in Canada from "Level 4" to "Level 3."

What have officials said about it?

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc have suggested that changes to the border measures could be announced very soon.

Speaking during a press conference on June 22, the Canadian PM stated, "We're talking about weeks and not months anymore."

This came not long after it was reported that Trudeau and President Joe Biden discussed a plan for their shared borders during the G7 leaders' summit in England.

On the U.S. side, some politicians have criticized the delay in restarting travel. One representative blamed the reluctance to reopen on Trudeau, while another described the latest travel ban extension as "bullsh*t."

What's the border reopening plan?

Despite calls from leading companies in Canada's travel and tourism industry, the feds are yet to announce a formal plan for reopening Canada and the United States.

One thing Justin Trudeau has made clear in the past is that the structure for restarting travel won't be "based on what other countries want."

Will restrictions ease for fully vaccinated travellers first?

It is possible that officials will opt for a phased approach to reopening, starting with fully vaccinated travellers first.

Justin Trudeau previously made it clear that the easing of restrictions "will be focused on Canadians who are fully vaccinated" and this is the direction the feds have taken when it comes to eligible travellers entering or returning to Canada.

What's happening on July 5?

From July 5 onwards, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will no longer have to quarantine for two weeks upon entering Canada.

They will also be exempt from the multi-day hotel stopover and the day-eight COVID-19 test.

This update doesn't apply to fully vaccinated Americans just yet.

It also doesn't change the non-essential travel ban at the border, meaning fully vaccinated Canadians are still unable to visit the U.S. for discretionary purposes.