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Rules for driving to Canada from the U.S. during the pandemic

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Canada will reopen to fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens on August 9, after nearly a year and half.

The new rules will only be applicable to U.S. citizens or permanent residents for now. In the meantime, the status of the pandemic is unknown.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

Canada will consider you “fully vaccinated” if your vaccines have been approved for use in Canada. You must also have had at least two weeks between the last dose and when you attempt to enter Canada.

You will not have to pass the negative COVID-19 test if you are fully vaccinated, unless you are randomly selected. The day-eight and quarantine tests are not required. You will still need to bring a pre-arrival PCR testing done within 72 hours of crossing the border. These tests cannot be done quickly.

Children younger than 12 years old who are not vaccinated can enter Canada. However, they must pass the same testing as non-vaccinated travelers.

Before arriving in Canada, all information must be submitted through ArriveCAN.

How do I use ArriveCAN?

ArriveCAN is required for almost everyone who travels to Canada. This app was created by the government to allow travellers to communicate with border officials during pandemics. It is now being used by travellers to verify their vaccination status and quarantine plans.

ArriveCAN can be downloaded as a mobile application or you can register online.

You must submit all documents in English or French. Otherwise, you will need to have a certified translation. The government website lists the following documents that you must submit:

The contact information for you, and anyone you are staying with, provided you stay at the same quarantine site.

The purpose of your trip;

Date of arrival

port of entry

Information and proof about vaccinations

Information about countries visited within the last 14 days prior to arriving in Canada, excluding those where you took a connecting flight.

your quarantine plan.

You are not required to quarantine fully vaccinated travelers, but you must still show up with a plan in the event that the border agent decides you need to self-isolate.

You will receive an email receipt from ArriveCAN after you have submitted your documents. This receipt can be presented to the border service officer. You will need to submit your documents again if you have to make any changes to your information after you have submitted it.

Questions to be answered for the quarantine plan

The border official will need to know the following information in order to create your quarantine plan:

Are you able to quarantine in a location for up to 14 days?

Where is your quarantine located?

Is it possible to avoid any contact with people who haven’t traveled with you to your quarantine area?

Are you able to access basic needs like heat, medicine, and food without having to leave quarantine?

Is there anyone at higher risk of COVID-19 in your quarantine? This could be people 65 and over, as well as people with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune system.

Is there anyone at the place who works in a facility that may expose them to people at higher risk of COVID-19?

It doesn’t matter if your quarantine area is multi-family or a group living environment. Are there roommates you can’t avoid?

These questions will provide the basis for an officer’s decision. Each case will be unique. You can reach the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for specific information.

Do you have any other questions?

You can still use the same border crossing procedures, but you will need to wear a mask once you get there.

The border officer will also ask you questions about your health and evaluate you for COVID-19 symptoms. They may refer you for a medical evaluation by public health officials if they suspect that you are sick.

You will need to have a valid I.D. in order to drive from the U.S. to Canada. This could be a U.S. passport or NEXUS card. Children below 16 years old need to show proof of U.S. citizenship.

Officials at the border recommend that you plan ahead and review the CBSA website for information about wait times at the border.

You must also ensure that you do not import prohibited goods, such as cannabis. You must also declare any organic products that you bring to Canada, such as food or plants. Also, animals must be declared. Valid, signed, and dated certificates from a veterinarian certifying that rabies vaccinations have been given to dogs and cats three months old and older

You must declare all purchases and any travel expenses exceeding $10,000 CAD in any currency. You don’t have to report it. It is also necessary to declare firearms and weapons that you carry when crossing the border. Keep in mind that most weapons in Canada are banned.

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