Travelers must be willing to provide proof of vaccination but may not be required.
Many Canadians have been expecting for this day: as the clock struck midnight on Monday, the US land border reopened to fully vaccinated Canadian passengers after a 19-month ban. The United States has closed its land border with Canada to minor travel since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
But on Monday, the United States began accepting tourists for land ferry holidays and passengers as long as people 18 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Younger passengers are exempt from this obligation.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said their border crossings would be serviced before the pandemic on Monday but warned that waiting times might be longer than usual. “We encourage travelers to the United States to be patient with our staff,” said Matthew Davis, chief executive officer, eligibility and passenger programs, CBP. “To reduce waiting times and long queues, we advise passengers to have the proper documents.”
Travelers arriving by land are not required to show a negative COVID-19 test but must be willing to check their vaccination status and provide their vaccination documents upon request. “We’ll ask if you’ve been fully vaccinated,” said Jeffrey Toth, program manager at CBPs Buffalo, New York.
You may be asked to provide evidence. US immigration attorney Len Saunders asked why the United States chose not to check all documents for travel vaccines automatically.
The agency did not answer the question straight. Instead, it said that if they were rechecked, the passenger’s vaccination records would be checked. If a team member discovers that a passenger does not have a vaccination certificate, they will be denied entry to the US, the agency said.
In March 2020, Canada and the United States agreed to close their shared land border for non-essential travel to prevent the diffusion of COVID-19. It is widely believed that the two sides will announce a joint reopening of the land border in due course. But that didn’t happen.
In contrast, Canada reopened its land borders to fully vaccinated Americans on August 9, 2021.
While the United States remained silent about its border plans. This has caused anger and frustration among Canadians planning to travel to the United States.
When the US announced last month that it would reopen its land borders on November 8, many Canadians – including snowbirds and people with cross-border connections – immediately started making plans. “It’s exhilarating,” said Jeremy Lessard of Welland, Ontario. His fiancée, Tracy Chvoydak, lives in Buffalo, about 40 miles from Lessard’s house. However, due to the closure of the land border, he was unable to make the 40-minute journey to Czwojdak’s house for 19 months.
Now that he’s ready to travel, Lessard plans to visit Buffalo on November 25 to celebrate American Thanksgiving with his fiancé. “It was just a small light spot in the dark years,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to normal.”
When returning to Canada, travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their return flight or their scheduled arrival at the land border. Canada only accepts molecular tests – such as the PCR test – which can cost hundreds of dollars.
Source: CBC News