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Here's what you need to know now that visiting Canada just got easier

The Canadian and U.S. flags flying next to each other.
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

It’s now easier for some visitors from the U.S. to visit Canada. As of April 1, fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. can enter Canada without advance COVID-19 testing.

Here’s an explanation of what you need to know before heading to the border.

What does Canada consider "fully vaccinated"?

You must have had two doses of an approved vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Your second shot has to have been at least 14 calendar days before you enter Canada.

There’s an easy questionnaire on the Canadian Border Service Agency website that includes a list of all the accepted vaccines. It asks a series of questions to determine if you're eligible to cross the border into Canada.

In the past, some people were required to quarantine for hours waiting for the result of random testing at the border. Is that still going to happen?

The Canadian government is still conducting random testing at the border regardless of vaccine status, but there’s no more quarantine to wait for the results for fully-vaccinated people.

Some things about a border crossing have not changed. If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, border officials have the authority to not let you enter. And don’t forget your passport or enhanced driver’s license or other travel IDs.

Can I just show up at the border with my vaccination card?

No. Before you travel you have to provide proof you’re vaccinated through the ArriveCAN app or website.

It’s free to download to your phone or you can do it on a computer. You create an account and it takes you through a series of questions and prompts. You’ll have to upload a photo of your vaccination card, know the name of the port where you will enter, and answer some other questions.

If you're flying, you have to use this, too.

The Canadian border service said in an email that anyone crossing must use ArriveCAN, although there are some very limited exceptions, like being a refugee or coming from a country with internet censorship that blocks the site or certain disabilities.

But, ArriveCAN is straightforward and only takes a few minutes to complete. There’s also a feature called "saved traveler." If you opt for that, it saves all your info and you don’t do it all every time you go to Canada.

Has anything changed for unvaccinated people?

If you’re not fully vaccinated, nothing’s changed.