Thanks in part to the efforts of Safari Club International (SCI), the Government of Canada has announced details for a plan to allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the border for non-essential travel. Recently, SCI sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting him to open the country’s border to fully vaccinated Americans when the quarantine requirements were lifted for vaccinated Canadians. Extending this policy to be consistent towards vaccinated Americans is not only a safe step towards fully reopening but is also vital for American hunters and the survival of Canadian outfitters.
Canada’s outfitting industry contributes $2.7 billion to the economy, creating an average of 37,000 jobs in rural and remote communities across the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the border between Canada and the United States has been closed since March 21, 2020. This closure has been devastating to the outfitting industry. Since outfitters have contracts in place, they are not easily able to adjust to a local clientele, and the domestic market for guided hunts is not a substitute for international travel.
Starting August 9, 2021, US citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will be able to cross the border without needing to quarantine. Providing that Canadian authorities do not see an increase in infections after August 9, the government will then open the border to fully vaccinated travelers from all destinations on September 7.
Travelers must have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and must have a negative COVID-19 molecular test result. They must also submit their travel information via the app or web portal ArriveCan before arriving in Canada. If they are eligible to enter Canada and meet specific criteria, they will not have to quarantine upon arrival nor take any post-arrival tests, unless randomly selected for a Day 1 test. Regardless of these changes, all travelers are still required to provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.
As of August 9, Canada is also eliminating the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement for those arriving by air. Also, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at five additional Canadian airports:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
- Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
For more information on COVID-19 travel, SCI members may contact the SCI Hunter Information Service at www.safariclub.org/contact.