–Negative PCR Tests, Documentation Requirements, Rising US Cases and Vaccination Records
Today, the United States announced it will be reopening the Canada and Mexico land borders for vaccinated travelers on a date to be announced in November. Canada reopened its US land borders in August.
“This comes as a great relief for the economies of both Canada and the US,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “But, there are many questions.”
Observations on the initial announcement:
1. Will mixed vaccine doses be recognized as fully vaccinated?
On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States would accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization. It did not say whether that included people who had received a mixed dose of approved vaccines.
2. When will the international vaccine passport be implemented? What does this mean for proof of vaccination measures at the border?
3. Why do returning Canadians need a negative PCR test, and pay for the expense of it (sometimes more than $200 USD) when they have been fully vaccinated? Will the Canadian government eliminate this rule?
4. What kind of mitigation strategies and technology will be in place to ensure efficient movement of traffic across the borders (e.g. border guard education, ensuring travellers have clear and up to date information on documentation needs)?
5. Foreign visitors crossing into the United States by land or ferry will need to be vaccinated but will not necessarily need to show proof of vaccination unless they are referred by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for secondary inspections.
6. Canadians can continue to fly into the US with proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered during the three days before their travel. Beginning in early November, they will need to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated, US officials have said.
“It is unfortunate that the border could not be opened at the same time on both sides, in collaboration and discussion with all governments in Canada, the US and Mexico.”
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org