Coronavirus: Canada opening border to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9

Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans beginning on Aug. 9 as the country begins to ease restrictions prompted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials with the Public Health Agency of Canada announced Monday.

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American citizens and permanent residents living in the U.S. who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada will be allowed into the country for non-essential travel, officials said. Travelers will be required to use the ArriveCAN app or website to submit travel information to officials prior to departure.

“We have been fully engaged with our American counterparts given the deep economic and family ties between our two countries,” Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair said. “Today’s announcement is another big step in our approach to easing border measures which is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.”

Authorities said that fully vaccinated travelers will not be required to quarantine after arriving in Canada. All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to undergo a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test; however, officials said fully vaccinated travelers will not need to submit to post-arrival tests unless they are randomly selected.

>> Related: 7 people caught driving through library yard to cross Canada/US border

Vaccinated Americans will be allowed in the country about one month before officials expect to open Canada’s border to any fully vaccinated travelers, which is expected to happen Sept. 7.

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

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020, prompted by concerns over spreading the coronavirus.

>> Related: Coronavirus: US extends travel restrictions on borders with Mexico, Canada

As of July 10, the last date for which data was available, about 68% of Canadians, or 26.1 million people, had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, according to government figures. About 44% of the country’s residents – 16.6 million people – have so far been fully vaccinated.

Across the U.S., about 56% of the population, or 186.3 million people, had received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday morning, according to the latest numbers available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials said 161.4 million people have so far been fully vaccinated, amounting to about 49% of the population.

More than 34 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. since the pandemic began, while Canada has reported 1.4 million cases, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. leads the world with the most coronavirus cases and the highest number of deaths. More than 609,000 people nationwide have died of the viral infection. In Canada, officials have identified about 26,400 deaths related to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins.

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