The travel industry in Canada and around the world was thrilled by the Biden administration announcement last month that American borders would begin to reopen in NOV.
More details of how that will work have been trickling out. First, we learned that the American land border to Canada would be reopening 08NOV to non-essential travellers who are fully vaccinated.
This week, we have a better picture of the new rules travellers will need to follow if arriving in the U.S. by air after 08NOV.
While the U.S. has kept its land border closed, Canadians have been free to travel to the U.S. by plane. The rules for flying to American destinations are about to change.
The CBC reports that U.S.’‘country-based’ system where residents of some countries were permitted entry and others were not, the U.S. is being replaced by a ‘vaccinations-based’ system of entry where arrivals are evaluated for individual risk.
Beginning on 08NOV, air arrivals in the U.S. from any country will need to be fully vaccinated. The U.S. has confirmed it will accept mix-and-match shots of any WHO-approved vaccines as full vaccination.
In addition, air arrivals will also need pre-departure negative tests to board a U.S.-bound flight. Fully vaccinated pax will be allowed to present a test taken within 72 hours of departure, whereas not-fully-vaccinated travellers will have to present a negative test taken within one day of travel. The latter option mainly applies to U.S. citizens returning home, as international travellers would be denied boarding without full vaccination anyway.
Antigen (not molecular or PCR) tests are the standard for U.S. air arrivals. Tests are not required for fully vaccinated land border crossing.
Minors under 18 will not be required to be fully vaccinated to fly to the U.S., as vaccine approvals for youth and children still vary world-wide. However, all pax over the age of 2 will have to present negative tests under the same guidelines as their accompanying adults to board a flight to an American destination.
The White House says it has been collaborating with airlines, who will have to enforce the new boarding screening for vaccination and testing, as well as collect contact tracing information from all pax regardless of vaccination status.