Many have been anxiously awaiting news about the reopening of the land border to Canadians (towards the USA, because it’s open towards Canada), so let’s talk about the news reports that came out yesterday evening about the US government’s preparations and our thoughts.
It’s finally a promising first sign in terms of traveling to our closest neighbor by car… but we’re not really out of the woods yet either.
First, let’s explain the current science. Because in the United States, it is particularly fascinating.
If you’ve been in Canada for at least 14 days, even if you are not vaccinated: You can fly into the United States.
If you have been in most European countries (and a few others) in the last 14 days, even if you are vaccinated: You cannot enter the United States.
If you want to enter by land, even if you have been in Canada and are vaccinated: You cannot enter the United States by car.
In other words, you shouldn’t try to understand the logic behind the travel rules: You should just look at them and understand them, because well…
In short, when Canada recently announced that it would finally reopen to vaccinated American travelers as of August 9th (the vaccine is more effective for Americans than for other nationalities), everyone expected the United States to do the same thing.
Logical, since they’ve always let Canadians fly in without even being vaccinated…
But since the travel shaming media crisis last December we’ve been telling you that expecting rational and logical decisions in terms of travel rules is very optimistic.
These are politicians after all (in Canada we’ll probably be in an election next week or the one after that—for our safety, or something like that I guess).
So anyway, the US instead extended the land border closure until August 21. To not ruffle feathers with Mexican politicians, to no seem to be discriminating against one neighbor… who knows. The fact is that it is staying closed.
Yesterday, an Associated Press report citing an unnamed White House source indicated that the US government is preparing to lift the current restrictions and to impose a vaccination requirement for non-Americans.
No timeline was provided. There was no specific mention of the land border either, it was actually more about restrictions for those who have been in the European Schengen area, the UK, Ireland, Brazil, India, South Africa, and China.
It does say that at some point, all foreigners who want to enter the United States will have to be vaccinated. So that actually means it’s going to be more restrictive than it is now by plane. But it opens up the possibility of finally being able to drive there. Potentially.
Will it be as early as August 22nd?
Nothing could be less certain. But it is at least a first indication that the reopening is being planned.
And it answers the question many were wondering, even 2 days ago during our Facebook Live video Q&A: It appears that yes, you will need to be vaccinated whenever the land border reopens.
Flytrippers is following the situation very closely and you’ll find out as soon as something is officially announced.
I myself was so certain that the land border would reopen that I pretty recently bought non-refundable tickets to a festival in Massachusetts on Labor Day weekend, so I’m really hoping it opens as soon as August 22nd!
Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I just don’t see how the US could justify extending the land border closure again for those who are fully vaccinated. They are literally having events with 100,000+ people in one place, what difference do a few fully vaccinated Canadians really make?
One Democratic congressman called the extension in July “bullshit” and his reaction seems to be the only thing both sides of the aisle agree on these days in US politics. And while I had correctly predicted the end of the hotel quarantine for all before the summer’s end… I’m not quite yet ready to go that far for the US border.
But I do think it’s more likely to open on August 22nd than to remain closed. To be continued.
Want to get all coronavirus updates for Canadian travelers?
The United States has started to prepare for the lifting of the few travel restrictions it has and travelers will need to be fully vaccinated to enter. But it is unclear when this will be imposed for Canadians already flying there or when the land border will reopen.
When do you think the land border will reopen? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured image: U.S. border (photo credit: Can Pac Swire)
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