The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade are urging the Canadian government to immediately eliminate requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians to produce a negative COVID-19 molecular test (PCR test) when returning from the United States at land border crossings, ferries and airports.
“The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased to hear that in advance of the November 21st expiry of an Order-in-Council, that Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam has signalled that test requirements for travellers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Canadian border need to be re-examined, particularly for short trips,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
“At a cost of $150 to $300 per PCR test, that can be a pricey proposition, particularly for families,” said Guy Occhiogrosso, CEO, Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Only when both sides are aligned, will we see an increase in economic activities.”
The Government of Canada still requiring returning travellers to produce a negative COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of arrival into Canada means that border communities such as Blaine, Bellingham and Point Roberts, that rely heavily on cross border travel, will not see a significant return in business. This is part of the regional economy, the Cascadia economy. Someone making a short trip across the border can use the same PCR test they took in Canada before they left to return home. This PCR test requirement is ineffective and needs to go.
“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,” continued Huberman.