CDC: Do not travel to Canada, even if you are vaccinated

The CDC has issued its highest travel alert level for Canada.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Travel to Canada from the United States is being discouraged by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, saying that even those who are fully vaccinated could be infected and spread COVID-19 variants. 

The CDC rates COVID-19 travel advisories from Level 1 (low) to Level 4 (very high), and it has labeled Canada a Level 4 danger zone. The highest level warrants the following advice from the CDC: 

  • Travelers should avoid all travel to Canada.
  • Because of the current situation in Canada even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Canada.
  • If you must travel to Canada, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.

The warning from the CDC comes just after U.S. Reps. Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber, both Minnesota Republicans, have encouraged the reopening of the Canadian border due to the impact the closure has had on the Minnesota. economy. 

Canada closed its border to the U.S. to nonessential travelers in March 2020. More recently, emergency regulations were issued to mandate that anyone entering the country must quarantine for 14 days (some exceptions), provide contact information and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. 

The ban on most nonessential travel to Canada from the U.S. is in place until April 21, though it could be extended. 

The Minnesota-Canada border restrictions are more difficult for people living on the Northwest Angle – the northernmost point of the contiguous United States that's home to about 120 year-round residents and a dozen resorts. It is only accessible by land only via a 40-mile drive through Manitoba, Canada, and two international border crossings.

Over the winter, residents of the Angle constructed a 30-mile ice road on Lake of the Woods to get in and out, but now that spring has arrived the ice road no longer exists, it's effectively stranded residents until restrictions are lifted. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

How bad is COVID-19 in Canada?

Like America, it varies depending on where outbreaks are happening. According to CBC News, Ontario is expected to go into a four-week shutdown beginning Thursday that will see all non-essential businesses ordered closed. 

Medical officials from Toronto and Ottawa have urged province leaders to issue a stay-at-home order, while schools in the Toronto area have moved to distance learning. 

Ontario borders the U.S. from Minnesota, east across the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley. The other Canadian province to border Minnesota is Manitoba, where health officials are worried about a variant-driven third wave being fueled by gatherings from Easter weekend. 

Meanwhile, a variant-driven spike is also occurring in Canada's westernmost province, British Columbia, where the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants are leading to rising case level. Both variants are more contagious and capable of causing more severe illness. 

B.1.1.7 is now the dominant strain in Minnesota, which was also the first state in the U.S. to use genomic sequencing to confirm a case of P.1. As of last week, the state health department had confirmed only three cases of P.1 in Minnesota. 

What is essential travel to Canada?

The following qualifies as essential travel, per Canada's order: 

  • Work related travel. A cross-border worker must cross the border regularly to go to their normal place of employment and demonstrate a regular pattern of travel, which is generally defined as daily or weekly.
  • Trade and Commerce including truck drivers
  • Medical purposes such as shopping for essential goods such as medication or goods necessary to preserve the health and safety of an individual or family
  • Emergency response and public health purposes
  • Cross-border trade
  • Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations
  • Alaskans may travel through Canada to return to their home in Alaska. They should be ready to make a convincing case so bring supporting documentation such as passport, Alaska driver’s license, utility bills etc. They are also asked to limit stops along the way. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz criticized for comments on 'thoughtful' use of tear gas

The governor is under fire for comments he made Tuesday as protests continue over the police killing of Daunte Wright.

Andrelton Simmons

Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons placed on COVID-19 list

Simmons is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.53.07 PM

Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Potter was a 26-year veteran officer before she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.

Related

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 12.22.38 PM

CDC director 'scared' of COVID trajectory, feeling of 'impending doom'

The warning comes at a time when Minnesota's cases are rising.

Minnesota-Canada border

Extension of non-essential travel ban between Minnesota and Canada

It's possible that the ban could be extended deeper into the summer.

coronavirus, covid-19

CDC director urges vigilance to prevent 'avoidable surge' of COVID

Minnesota's 7-day rolling average of new cases is rising.

Northwest Angle Canada border

COVID-19: Canada tightens border restrictions

The northern county has announced additional testing and quarantine requirements as new variants of COVID emerge.

vaccine, covid, moderna

MDH: 89 cases of COVID-19 out of 800,000 fully vaccinated so far

Health officials said these cases arguably support the vaccines' effectiveness.

covid-19, coronavirus

Washington Post IDs Minnesota as possible emerging COVID hot spot

Minnesota health officials say the uptick in cases is concerning.

covid-19

Osterholm: Michigan should serve as COVID warning for rest of US

Cases and hospitalizations have surged in Michigan in recent weeks.

Walz

Walz responds to Osterholm's prediction of a variant-driven spike

Osterholm remains confident that the B.1.1.7. variant will cause big problems within 14 weeks.