Can I Travel To Canada From The U.S.?

The Omicron variant is spreading—and countries are quickly reacting with fresh travel restrictions and entry requirements.

As of November 30, six cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Canada. U.S. travelers are permitted to travel to Canada for leisure but only if they’re vaccinated. This applies whether you’re entering Canada by land border or air.

Here’s what you need to know.

Current Travel Restrictions for Canada

Foreign nationals are currently prohibited to enter Canada from the following countries:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those with status under the Indian Act who have been to any of these countries in the previous 14 days can enter Canada, but will be subject to enhanced sanitary measures.

They need to provide a negative Covid-19 test from their country of origin taken within 72 hours of departure, and will be tested again upon arrival, regardless of their vaccination status or having tested positive for Covid-19. A test on day eight after arrival will also be required, as well as a 14-day quarantine.

Foreign nationals, including those from the United States, are allowed to enter Canada for leisure travel—but under strict conditions.

Requirements to Enter Canada from the U.S.

As of November 30, vaccination is now required for all travel into and out of Canada—a negative test alone will no longer be accepted unless the traveler is eligible for an exemption, such as a medical inability to be vaccinated.

In addition to showing proof of vaccination, you’ll need to show proof of a negative molecular test (PCR) taken within 72 hours of your scheduled flight to Canada or arrival at a land border crossing. Rapid antigen tests aren’t accepted.

Those who are fully vaccinated and who arrive from anywhere other than the United States via airplane will be subject to a test upon arrival and will be required to quarantine while they wait for the results.

If you arrive by car, bus, boat, ferry or train from the U.S., you’re still required to show proof of a negative test taken in the U.S. within 72 hours of your planned entry into Canada.

All travelers must submit their travel information into ArriveCAN. The form asks for proof of vaccination as well as contact, travel and quarantine details. The information must be submitted within 72 hours before arriving in Canada. Those who don’t submit their information can be denied boarding on the plane or entry into the country if traveling by land.

Requirements for Returning to the U.S. from Canada

The United States has implemented tougher requirements to get back into the country, regardless of where you’re traveling from.

All passengers will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within one day of the departure of their flight to the United States. The same rule applies to those entering the U.S. via land border crossings.

Unlike the previous requirements which allowed for a longer timetable for vaccinated travelers, this new requirement will treat all passengers the same, regardless of vaccination status. As is currently the case, either a PCR or antigen test will still be accepted as proof of being negative for Covid-19.

It is important to note that the test requirements include taking it within one calendar day and is not limited to within 24 hours of your departure. This means that passengers will be able to take their test at any time during the day before their flight, no matter what time their flight departs.

It’s important to keep in mind that the current situation is developing, and new restrictions could be put in place by the American government at any time. Refer to the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

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