Number of travellers entering Canada doubled in week after U.S. border opening

OTTAWA — The traveller volume heading into Canada at the land border with the United States more than doubled in the first week that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens were permitted to enter into the country.

According to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) data, 218,732 non-commercial travellers – including both Canadians and Americans— crossed the border between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, compared to 103,344 the week prior.

The weekly rate of border-crossers has hovered around the 100,000 mark since May.

This number does not include commercial truck drivers, who have been permitted to cross since the beginning of the pandemic.

During the same week in August 2020, the number sat at 74,562 travellers, while in 2019 – before the pandemic began – Canada saw 1,442,850 travellers enter through its land border.

The Canada-U.S. border was shut down to non-essential travel by mutual agreement on March 21, 2020.

In late July, the federal government announced it would allow fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. to travel to Canada starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT for discretionary purposes if they’ve received a full course of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada at least 14 days prior to arrival.

The U.S. did not reciprocate the move at the time, and on Aug. 19 the U.S Department of Homeland Security announced the land border would remain closed until at least Sept. 21 as cases of the Delta variant continue to sweep through the country.

Regionally, Atlantic Canada saw the biggest jump in cross-border action between Aug. 9 and 15, with 15,711 travellers arriving for both commercial and non-commercial purposes— an 89 per cent increase from the week prior.

Ontario reported the highest volume with 206,783 travellers – up from 133,734.

The regional breakdown by CBSA includes both commercial and non-commercial travel.

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