The border crossing between the U.S. and Canada in Houlton. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

HOULTON, Maine — Canada will reopen its border on Aug. 9 to U.S. citizens who have been fully vaccinated, after 16 months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travelers will be required to submit their vaccination information beforehand onto the ArriveCAN mobile app, and must produce a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before entry as well as take a test upon arrival. Vaccinated travelers are not required to quarantine, but must present a suitable quarantine plan in case of contacting the virus while in Canada.

The news comes as Canada’s population recently surpassed the U.S. in the total percentage of people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

“With rising vaccination rates and fewer cases in Canada, we can begin to safely ease border measures,” Canadian Health Minister Patty Hadju said. “A gradual approach to reopening will allow our health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 situation here and abroad. Canadians have worked hard and sacrificed for each other, and because of that work, we can take these next steps safely.”

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens will be allowed to travel to Canada, but must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and take a COVID-19 test both when arriving and on the eighth day of their quarantine.

Children under the age of 12, who are not currently eligible for any vaccine, are exempt from the rules for unvaccinated citizens, but must stay with their parents during the visit, and may not attend group activities such as camps or daycare.

In addition to land border travel, Canada is also expanding the number of airports where planes are permitted to land. During the pandemic, only airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary allowed planes flying in from other countries. Beginning Aug. 9, airports in Ottawa, Halifax, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Edmonton are also now eligible.

“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Canadians to getting vaccinated and following public health advice, we are seeing improvement in the public health situation in Canada,” Omar Alghabra, the Canadian transport minister, said. “As a result, today we announced new steps in our reopening approach, including that international flights carrying passengers will be allowed to land at five more Canadian airports.”

The Aug. 9 reopening date only applies to U.S. citizens. Canada plans on further expanding border reopening to all countries on Sept. 7.