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  • Eli Richardson

U.S. - Canadian Travel Confusion

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Image Source: (Forbes)

By Eli Richardson

September 19th, 2021

The U.S.- Canadian border is the largest shared land border in the world and had been closed for non-essential travel for most of the pandemic. Rules put into place by the Canadian government made it so vaccinated Americans can drive over the border with proof of vaccination, a negative molecular COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of traveling, and a quarantine plan should they get COVID. Americans must fill out a pre-arrival questionnaire on the ArriveCAN app with the previously mentioned information to be allowed to drive over the border.

Although these new rules effectively opened the border for vaccinated Americans to drive into Canada, travel volume is significantly less than anticipated. This can potentially be attributed to the complexity of the requirements. The availability and cost of a molecular COVID-19 test also plays a big factor. In some instances individuals that wish to drive over the border do not have facilities close that administer this type of test, the tests also may require doctor referral and can be between $100-$200. Some travelers are also confused about the quarantine plan requirement. Travelers who may be staying in hotels in several cities over trips are left wondering if they require quarantine plans for all locations they will be staying at. The Canadian government has said that for these plans an individual is required to display that they can book accommodation at a hotel or, have a residence to stay at for the duration of a potential quarantine.

While these restrictions may be an inconvenience for Americans trying to drive into Canada the restrictions put into place by the U.S. for Canadians are far more frustrating. Canadians are not allowed to cross by land for nonessential, leisure, travel, but the U.S. will allow Canadians to fly into the country with any type of negative COVID test 72 hours before travel. This leaves Canadians who want to travel to the U.S. for leisure or to see their family with only the option of flying. The U.S. government cites the Delta variant for the delay in opening the land border.

Overall, many people are left confused and frustrated by the differences in requirements between the U.S. and Canada. For Canadians, if they wish to enter the U.S. for non-essential travel by land they are generally not going to be able to. For Americans, smoothly entering Canada comes down to understanding and following the requirements and using the ArriveCAN app.



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