Travel Rules At The Canada-US Land Border Have Changed & Here's What You Need To Cross

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Travel Rules At The Canada-US Land Border Have Changed & Here's What You Need To Cross

If you're planning a trip across the border in the near future, things might look a little different once again. That's because restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border have been updated, and almost everyone must now be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross.

On Saturday, January 22, the United States implemented a new requirement for all non-Americans entering the country via its land borders or ferry ports.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires all non-U.S. individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which includes Canadians crossing the border for both essential and non-essential purposes.

This means it's just gotten a little more complicated to drive into the States, as you'll now be required to prove your vaccination status before entry (or prove a valid exemption, if you have one).

There are "limited exceptions" to this requirement.

According to the DHS, those crossing the land border from Canada should be prepared to verbally confirm their vaccination status, as well as provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 with a CDC-approved vaccine.

That's not all, travellers. The DHS says that everybody entering the United States via land should be "prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection."

All of this applies regardless of your reason for travel.

A COVID-19 test is not required to enter the country via a land port or ferry terminal, although it is necessary if you're flying in via plane.

The DHS also says that as travel between the two countries ramps up, wait times at the border are likely to increase.

"Travelers should plan for longer than normal wait times and longer lines at U.S. land border crossings when planning their trip and are reminded to exercise patience," the DHS says.

Drivers and passengers are urged to prepare their documents ahead of time so that they are ready for border officials upon arrival.

As of January 15, fewer people qualify for vaccination exemptions at Canada's borders, too. This means it's harder for unvaccinated foreign nationals to enter the country.

Anybody preparing to enter Canada must take a pre-entry molecular COVID-19 test, regardless of citizenship. Children under the age of five and a few other select groups are exempt.

As of January 23, Canada's global travel advisory remains in effect.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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