Canadians visiting the US must get tested to return home

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CANTON, NY (NCPR) The US is dropping most travel restrictions on land travel from Canada and Mexico, but Canadians will face additional hurdles returning home.

After more than 18 months of closure, the United States land border reopens to Canadians for non-essential travel on Monday.

The move comes almost 3 months after Canada welcomed back American travelers.

For Americans going north, nothing will change. The Canadian government still requires proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days old, plus a valid passport. All those documents should be entered into the ArriveCAN app.

For Canadians coming south, the process is a bit easier.

“These travelers will be required to attest to vaccination status and provide proof to a CBP officer,” said Matthew Davies, an executive with US Customs and Border Protection overseeing arrival procedures.

Davies said CBP will accept any vaccine that is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or has emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization, as long as the traveler has completed the vaccination series.

Upon reaching the border, foreign travelers will be asked to verbally confirm their vaccination status and may be required to show proof. Davies noted that paper cards, digital records, and even photos of vaccine cards will be accepted.

“We know that there are various types of documentation and any of the documentary evidence that are identified on the CDC website will be accepted,” he explained.

There is currently no requirement to have negative COVID-19 test for vaccinated Canadians entering the US.

However, returning to Canada will prove more complicated. Just like foreign travelers, Canadians will need to show a negative COVID-19 test at the border to re-enter their country.

The Canadian Border Services Agency requires the test be administered no more than 72 hours before arrival at the border. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted. A more reliable molecular procedure, such as a PCR test, is required for entry into Canada.