All travellers including Canadians flying to the U.S. must get COVID test day before departure

U.S. land border will reopen to fully vaccinated Canadian travellers on Nov. 8

TORONTO — The U.S. land border will reopen to fully vaccinated Canadian travellers on Nov. 8.

Also on Nov. 8 the U.S. will reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals arriving by air.

White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz announced the news in a tweet this morning, saying: “The U.S.’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travellers to the United States will begin on Nov. 8. This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel.”

Earlier this week the U.S. announced that it was reopening its land border to Canadian travellers in early November. The U.S. had also given an November timeline when it announced on Sept. 20 that it would reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals arriving by air. Today’s news finally puts a date on the reopenings.

There’s also the matter of the Canadian government’s advisory against all non-essential travel, still in place after more than a year and a half. In recent weeks ACTAACITA and other travel industry execs, as well as the consumer media, have have stepped up calls for a more country-specific risk-based travel advisory.

Calls to eliminate Canada’s current requirement for all incoming and returning travellers to Canada to show proof of a negative PCR test before entering the country have also ramped up.

But Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said yesterday that Canada still can’t afford to take any chances when it comes to COVID-19.

Freeland said she wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the testing requirement is eliminated at some point in the future, provided that such a decision gets the green light from public health officials.

“I am not making predictions about the future,” she said.

The federal government has tried to be “thoughtful” and “flexible” when it comes to measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, Freeland added, always in consultation with health experts and with the rapidly changing circumstances of the pandemic in mind.

But “the rules are the rules,” Freeland said, “and Canadians should expect to follow them.”

Freeland is in Washington this week for multilateral meetings with G7 and G20 finance ministers, as well as officials from the World Bank and IMF.

A column posted today in the Globe and Mail notes, “Politicians who recently travelled now have a message for Canadians: Don’t travel.’”

With file from The Canadian Press