The Canadian-U.S. Border reopened Aug. 9: Here Are The Details

Becca Ballard

It has now been more than a year-and-a-half since the longest international border in the world, United States and Canada border, has been closed. Recently, it is set to reopen for U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

It took time and intense country scrutiny to reopen the border between these two countries, and just in time before the delta variant took a stronghold in the U.S.

Just before the border was about to reopen, a strike emerged from the Canadian border employees. About 9,000 employees with the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union implemented "work-to-rule" activities. This happened at Canadian airports, land borders, commercial shipping ports, and post offices which created huge delays at access points around the country, including across the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor. 

But late Friday, after a final round of negotiations that lasted more than 36 hours, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Customs and Immigration Union reached a tentative agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency.

If you are planning to head back to the Great White North now that borders have re-opened, there are a few things to know.

Who can visit Canada?

As of Aug. 9, Canada is reopen for all non-essential travel but you have to be considered fully vaccinated before crossing the international border. That means you have to have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines two weeks before you travel.

However, children under 12 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian can travel to the country but must be tested on the first and eighth day of the trip.

Before you leave for Canada

First things first, you will be required to pass a COVID-19 test before heading to Canada. Those that wish to cross the border will need to show a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within three days of crossing the border.

Even if you're vaccinated against COVID-19, you'll still need to prove you're not carrying the virus with you when you travel.

You must also be asymptomatic. If you have symptoms of Covid, even if you're vaccinated and have a negative test, you will not be allowed into the country.

What to bring to Canada

  • ArriveCAN app (available in the app store or Google Play) with proof of vaccination and negative COVID test submitted
  • Screenshot of your information from the app (in case the app or email fails to load)
  • Vaccination cards - physical or digital copies
  • Negative test results
  • Card payment - The Detroit-Windsor tunnel announced they no longer accept cash

When you arrive in Canada

Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to take a COVID test unless randomly selected to do so. These random selections are required and must be done on day one of arrival. Failure to take the test could result in fines.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you have to provide a quarantine plan in the ArriveCAN app and be prepared to quarantine. If while in the county, you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has tested positive, you will have to follow public health requirements, including quarantine or isolation.

Be prepared for backups

There are two ways in Detroit to get into Canada, either by the Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. The U.S. has not opened their border yet for non-essential travel. Don't worry, you'll be allowed to get home but it may be slow going getting back.

The U.S. continued the ban through August 21, which has been in place since March 24, 2020.

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Welcome to a glimpse into the latest local stories, travel, restaurants and more! Most topics you'll find around here are local to Michigan, but I might just surprise you! Grab a coffee and stay for awhile. I hope to leave you restless with the urge to explore somewhere new whether that be a new city or restaurant.

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