Manitoba Daily

Monday, November 29, 2021

Canada will no longer need a negative PCR test for small cross-border trips

Key takeaways:

  • The new limits will go into effect around by the end of November or the beginning of December.
  • On November 8, the United States reopened its land border, allowing Canadians to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The federal government is anticipated to announce later this week that the negative PCR test requirement for Canadians returning from a trip of fewer than 72 hours in the United States would be eliminated.

Both citizens and permanent residents will be affected by the policy change. The new restrictions are scheduled to take effect by the end of November or early December.

Any trip outside of Canada that lasts more than 72 hours will require a negative PCR test upon return.

In a press conference on Wednesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said, “We are very glad to learn that the PCR testing rules that were in place for short visits would no longer apply for persons who want to travel to the United States for a day or two.”

On November 8, the United States reopened its land border to vaccinate Canadians against COVID-19 fully.

Also read: British Columbia has announced a state of emergency

However, the necessity of a negative PCR test kept many Canadians at home, fearful of incurring further costs if they returned to Canada.

Testing is not required to cross the land border in the United States. However, travellers to the United States and Canada must show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination.

At the moment, anyone attempting to enter Canada must present a negative PCR test done at their own expense and within 72 hours of their arrival at the border.

Horgan called it “stupidity” earlier this month that travellers may receive a test in B.C., fly to the United States, and then use the test to return less than 72 hours later.

“Why would we need a testing regime if we have double-immunized traffic flowing back and forth across the border?” But, he replied, “I think it’s excessive, and I’ll make that point to the prime minister.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying the federal government to change the PCR rules.

Canada will waive the requirement for a negative PCR test.

Perrin Beatty, the Chamber’s CEO, has advocated eliminating the PCR test, claiming that it is unnecessary given the confirmation of immunization.

Beatty has yet to hear from the federal government about the proposed adjustments, but she favours any revisions to the PCR testing requirement.

“Anything that lessens the amount of necessity here is a step forward,” Beatty explained.

“What it does is the abolition of one absurdity.” Unfortunately, however, it creates a new absurdity. When the expert task team looked into it, they concluded that border judgments should be based on vaccination status.”

According to Global News, the reopening of the land border to non-essential travel did not produce the influx of Canadian visitors that U.S. businesses had anticipated.

On November 8, Brant Baron, the owner of Mail Boxes International in Blaine, Wash., reported they had only four customers in the hour they had been open.

They also have packages sitting there since the border was closed to non-essential traffic in March 2020.

“The border opening hasn’t had much of an effect on us,” he remarked. “Those who have arrived even continue to discuss the $150 to $200 PCR test. As you can see, there has been very little influence.”

More information on the negative PCR test requirement adjustment has not yet been confirmed, although it is likely to be released later this week.

Source: Global News

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