Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who depart to the U.S. and reenter within 72 hours will no longer be required to produce a PCR test from Nov. 30.
The measure, which primarily benefits Canadians who cross land borders to get a gas refill, shop for food and attend cultural and sporting events in the United States, also covers trips to other nations that may be completed in the same time window.
“If a Canadian wanted to go across for a quick shopping trip in the U.S., maybe get some cheap gas or whatever … the actual risk for themselves, as well as obviously when they come back to Canada, is pretty minimal,” said Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer.
Travelers still retain the obligation to download the ArriveCAN app and provide their travel details.
They are also responsible for keeping proof of their 72-hour period to show airlines, rail companies, and government officials when required.
“The upcoming changes to Canada’s border testing and entry requirements reflect the next stage in our government’s approach as we align with the improving vaccination rates both here in Canada and around the world,” the Health Minister said Friday.
Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by fully vaccinated guardians are also covered under the new policy.
Canadians should be aware that from Nov. 30, vaccination will be required to board aircraft, vessels, and any other federally regulated transport. A negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to immunization.
Those vaccinated with World Health Organization-approved vaccines such as Sinopharm, Sinovac, and COVAXIN will now be considered fully vaccinated by the federal government.
All this great news has been celebrated by U.S. border towns, such as Point Roberts, Wash, which have seen a large drop in annual income owing to the pandemic’s Canada-US border restrictions.