Unsurprisingly, Americans shouldn’t expect to be able to travel to Canada anytime soon, as the border closure has been extended once again. Not only that, but we’re seeing significant new restrictions for those who are allowed to travel between the two countries.
Canada closes border to Americans through February 21
The border between the US and Canada has been closed for non-essential travel since March 21, 2020. The border closures have consistently been extended for a month at a time. At this point the border is closed through February 21, 2021, meaning the border will at that point have been closed for 11 months.
The travel restrictions are intended to slow the spread of coronavirus. This prevents most non-essential travel, but select essential travelers, as well as goods, are still allowed to cross the border.
There are a few further things to note:
- Americans are allowed to transit Canada enroute to a third country, but only if remaining in sterile transit
- Canadians are allowed to vacation in the US if arriving by air, though Americans aren’t allowed to vacation in Canada
- Note that Canada does have a 14-day quarantine for Canadians returning home; furthermore, the US will require a negative COVID-19 test within three days of flying to the country, and then the same will be required upon return to Canada
Canadians continue to be able to travel to the US by air
Trudeau warns not to expect the policy to change
While the border closure is currently through February 21, it seems highly likely that it will be extended beyond that. As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a few months back, the situation in the US would have to materially change for the border to reopen:
“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place.”
Across the board, any travel over the coming months (especially internationally) really will have to be planned last minute, given how often restrictions are being updated.
A vast majority of Canadians continue to remain opposed to borders reopening. I certainly can’t blame them for that, especially when you consider that Canadians continue to be allowed to vacation in the US if traveling by air (not that they’d necessarily want to, but they can).
Canadians overwhelmingly oppose the border reopening
Coronavirus in the US vs. Canada
How do case numbers actually compare in the US & Canada?
- The US has seen a total of 23.6 million cases and 393K deaths, with a population of 328 million
- Canada has seen a total of 696K cases and over 17K deaths, with a population of 38 million
While case numbers are currently increasing in both countries, there’s simply no arguing that the situation is much worse in the US than Canada.
The US has seen 3.9x as many cases per capita, and 2.7x as many deaths per capita.
The US has seen a lot more cases & deaths than Canada
The border between the US & Canada continues to be closed through at least February 21, 2021, though it’s highly likely the closure will be extended beyond that.
Canadians continue to be able to vacation in the US (if they want), while the opposite isn’t true, so I can’t blame Canadians for the sentiment. However, travel between the two countries requires pre-travel testing in both directions, and a quarantine upon return to Canada.
When do you think we’ll see the US & Canadian border reopen?