When my family went to Ottawa in February of 2020 to celebrate my 40th birthday, we thought that we would be back in just a few months to vacation at our lake cottage. Little did we know that a global pandemic would strike, closing the border between Canada and the United States only one month after our February visit.

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It has been an extremely frustrating and emotional 16 months for my family as we've been trapped stateside and unable to cross the border into Canada to check on our property. Our lake cottage is on its own little peninsula with no road access, only access by boat. Our place is surrounded by a massive wall of boulders, trees, and wildlife, and not knowing if weather-related damage or pest damage has been done to our place has been nerve-wracking.

Every time there was a glimmer of hope that the border would re-open, it was quickly stolen as the Canadian government decided instead to extend the border closure. So, when friends and family bombarded me this week with news that the border is actually opening, I was leary. But, it is happening. The Canadian border is opening to Americans with some stipulations and regulations.

If you've got property or family in Canada and have been waiting for this day don't jump for joy just yet. Not until you really read and understand all of the conditions of the border opening.

Vaccination Will Be Required For Americans to Enter Canada

Right now, the Canadian government is only opening the border to Americans (not other countries) who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. The border will open to fully vaccinated Americans on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Proof of Vaccination and Quarantine Plans Will Be Required

Americans crossing the border into Canada when the border opens on August 9 will have to show proof of vaccination either through a digital or paper copy and will also need to have a quarantine plan in place in the event they enter Canada and officials believe they do not meet the requirements. Travelers may be selected at random to receive a COVID test at the border. If it comes back positive, they and anyone traveling with them will be required to quarantine.

Unvaccinated Children Will Be Allowed to Cross the Border into Canada

Unvaccinated children who are under the age of 12 and who are the dependents of adults who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days will be allowed to cross the border and will not have to quarantine but will not be able to participate in group activities while in the country. These activities include but are not limited to camps and daycare.

All Travelers Entering Canada Will Be Mandated To Use ArriveCAN

Anyone traveling into Canada whether by land or air will be required to use ArriveCAN. Travels will be mandated to submit contact information, the reason for travel, dates of travel, where you will be entering Canada (border/port/airport), vaccination information, quarantine plans, and more. All travelers will need to submit this information within 72 hours before arrival and be prepared to show their ArriveCAN receipt at the border before entry. You can read all of the fine print and details about the mandatory use of ArriveCAN here.

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