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Partial border reopening expected to kickstart Alberta's tourism recovery


Alberta's tourism industry is hoping for a big boost when the international border partially reopens this week.

Starting midnight Sunday, fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents are allowed to once again recreationally cross into Canada.

Those who have had two shots of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine -- Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or the single-shot Johnson and Johnson -- will be eligible for non-essential travel two weeks after their last dose.

They'll still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

Cindy Ady with Tourism Calgary says it's already having an impact.

"We are seeing more interest and our phones have begun to ring," Ady told CTV News. "So now we are looking at winter and obviously we have a very robust winter ski season that comes in to Alberta and through our city, as well as different groups that would choose to hold their business meetings here. It should be exciting."

The local hotel association doesn't expect the rule change to flip over a tough year and a half, but director Sol Zia does believe it'll move the pin.

"The average non-domestic traveller spends at least 40 per cent more than a Canadian domestic traveler," he said. "We're basically crawling out of where we were a year ago, and it could be a long climb...this is a start."

The American government has yet to announce when it'll lift restrictions for Canadians who want to cross the land border and head south.

The Canadian government, meanwhile, are slowly making the country more accessible as the year goes on.

The government plans to open Canada's borders to all fully vaccinated travellers on Sept. 7. Five additional airports -- Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec City and Edmonton -- will begin accepting international flights beginning Monday.

Also ending is the government-mandated three night hotel stay for all travellers. And the Feds will be nixing the required post-arrival COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travellers in favour of randomized day one molecular tests.

There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for those who are unvaccinated. Top Stories

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