BABY STEPS

CDC Downgrades Travel Alerts for Canada; Will This Help Reopen the US Land Border?

US border to remain closed due to delta variant
Canada-U.S. border, currently closed.

Following Canada’s opening of the border to fully vaccinated Americans this past Monday, the CDC downgraded Canada’s COVID-19 risk level to 2.

That’s great news for Canada’s domestic tourism industry looking for American tourists. It may also be a small sign of hope for Canada’s outbound travel industry anxiously waiting on a full border reopening between Canada and the U.S.

Specifically, the development this week means the CDC still recommends travellers are fully vaccinated before departing to level 2 destinations, including Canada. The health agency recommends that unvaccinated travellers who are at increased risk for severe illness should avoid Level 2 countries if they’re going for non-essential reasons.

Of course, Canada only permits fully-vaccinated travellers to enter, exempt from quarantine and some testing requirements, for non-essential travel.

Canada had been at Level 3 out of 4 levels of risk the CDC assigns. Level 3 is a high risk of COVID-19, the only difference with level 2 being that unvaccinated travellers should avoid level 3 destinations even if not at risk of severe illness.

In the meantime, America’s border remains closed to Canadians, which the U.S. government says is due to the delta variant causing high infection levels in that country. The current unilateral border closure is set to expire on 21AUG, but will likely be renewed.

The U.S. State Department also, in conjunction with the CDC reclassification this week, moved Canada from level 3, “reconsider travel” to a less-risky level 2, “be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.”

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