The United States has raised caution for Americans travelling to Canada, advising its citizens to reconsider going to the country amid increasing COVID-19 cases.
The latest travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department on Monday, upgraded Canada to Level 3, which says “Reconsider travel”.
This comes as both countries grapple with a fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant.
Over the past week, more than 21,000 cases have been reported in Canada, national data on Monday showed. Meanwhile, more than 900,000 cases were recorded last week in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For the first time in 16 months, Canada reopened its land borders for fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, but the U.S. has yet to reciprocate.
American travellers who are fully vaccinated don’t have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada, but they’re required to show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and provide proof of vaccination by way of the ArriveCAN smartphone app or web portal.
“Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine,” the State Department said in the travel advisory.
The CDC, which also changed Canada’s travel recommendation rating to Level 3, urged unvaccinated travellers to avoid non-essential travel to Canada.
“Because of the current situation in Canada, all travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” it said on its website.
The CDC had previously listed Canada as Level 4 or “very high” warning against all travel to the country.
On Aug. 10, the U.S. State Department lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada to “Level 2 Exercise Increased Caution”, but stopped short of easing restrictions for Canadian tourists, who are still barred from entering the U.S. land border.
The U.S. has extended land border restrictions — in place since March 2020 — for Canadians and Mexicans until Sept. 21.