Canada eases border testing protocols for citizens

International

Alexandria Bay Port of Entry, Wellesley Island, New York (WWTI/ Isabella Colello)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Some requirements have been dropped for Canadians visiting the U.S. for short trips.

The Government of Canada is dropping COVID-19 testing requirements for Canadians returning from travel from the United States for short visits. This decision was announced following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit the Washington D.C. where he met with U.S. President Joe Biden and other top lawmakers.

Specifically, the requirement for Canadian citizens to get receive a PCR COVID-19 test prior to returning home no longer applies to those in the United States for 72 hours or less.

However, those who are in the U.S. for longer than this timeframe will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving at land ports of entry. Only negative molecular COVID tests completed within 72 hours, or proof of previous positive molecular test results taken between 14 and 180 days will allow Canadians back into the country.

Proof of tests results are required even if a traveler has tested negative for COVID-19 previous to the 72 hours period, has been vaccinated for COVID-19, recovered from COVID-19 and no longer tests positive or recovered from COVID-19 and continues to test positive.

Travelers should have their tests performed at a reputable laboratory or testing facility. Antigen tests continue to not qualify as proof of testing.

North Country lawmakers have been encouraging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to drop COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals entering the United States. This included Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. R-NY, and Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY.

Both considered dropping testing requirements for some Canadians as progress for the full border reopening.

“This needs to be over. The testing mandate is unpleasant, it’s inconvenient, it’s costly and, more importantly, for the fully vaccinated it’s unnecessary,” Rep. Higgins said.

“While this action does not achieve full parity for cross-border travel, today’s news is a step in the right direction,” Rep. Stefanik said in a press release. “Now, our Canadian friends will be able to travel more easily, which is good news for North Country families, tourism, and our border communities.”

Non-essential Canadian travelers were first permitted to travel into the U.S. at land ports of entry and ferry terminals on November 8, 2021. This was the first time non-essential travel was permitted in the United States since March 20, 2020.

The ease of testing requirements at the Canadian Border will go into effect on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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