Ottawa confirms it will nix PCR test for Canadians taking short trips, starting Nov. 30

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Ottawa confirmed on Friday that, starting November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians taking short trips abroad will no longer need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return home.

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The federal government said the test exemption would apply to fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who depart and re-enter Canada within 72 hours. This rule will also apply to those with the right to enter who are under the age of 12 and have their parents fully vaccinated or have certain medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated.

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For now, Canadians returning from long trips and all foreign travelers entering Canada will still have to show evidence of a negative molecular test Taken within 72 hours of their planned arrival at the departure flight or land border.

The government also announced that it would expand its list of approved vaccines for travelers. Currently, the government only recognizes Health Canada-approved vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. But from November 30, Canada will recognize as fully immunized those who were vaccinated with the World Health Organization-approved vaccines Sinoform, Sinovac and Covaxin.

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The government also said that from January 15 certain groups of travelers who are currently exempt from certain entry requirements will be allowed to enter Canada only if they have been fully vaccinated.

Those groups include individuals reuniting with families, international students, professional athletes, temporary foreign workers and essential service workers, including truck drivers.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement: “The upcoming changes to Canada’s border testing and entry requirements represent the next step in our government’s approach as we align with improving vaccination rates here in Canada and around the world.” ”

Government announces it will drop testing requirement for Canadians to take short trips Politicians lobbying, ns tourism industry senior and business groups to Ottawa waive the requirement for all vaccinated travelers.

Testing costs made short trips impractical

Molecular tests — such as the popular PCR test — can range from $150 to $300, making traveling abroad prohibitive for some people.

“In many cases, the cost of a PCR test can exceed the cost of travel,” said Jana Ray, a senior advocate group with CanAge.

Sometimes travelers can Get a free trial in the US, but they are not available in all parts of the country, and may not provide results within the traveler’s time frame.

The requirement for travelers to take the test for short trips across the border has drawn the most criticism, as the potential cost of testing makes travel impractical for many people.

“Who would pay $150 to $300 for a quick trip to buy groceries or gas or eat or even visit friends?” said Faye Chamberlain of Stansted, Ky., which borders Vermont.

In pre-pandemic times, Chamberlain entered the US several times a week. Now that she doesn’t have to worry about going out on trial, Chamberlain is ready to resume her cross-border trips.

“It’s fantastic,” she said. “I haven’t gone anywhere because [of the test],

Border towns adopted the decision

The text exemption is also being adopted by US border towns, such as Point Roberts, Wash., which borders BC and has seen economy tank Thank you for the disappearance of BC tourists during the pandemic.

Ali Heaton, the sole grocery store owner in Point Robert, said that even though the US land border has now reopened to fully vaccinated Canadians, many tourists have not returned – for the cost of the PCR test. Thank you.

“A family of four, you’re looking at six hundred bucks to come down for the day,” she said.

But Heaton said the new testing exemptions would help boost economic activity in the city.

“It will definitely change things, once those people can drive over and pick up a package or fill up their gas tank or just come down and have lunch at the cafe.”

Tests still needed for longer trips

But not everyone is fully celebrating right now. This is because, for now, Canadians making long trips and foreigners entering Canada still have to undergo PCR tests.

At a news conference on Friday, a coalition of trade and tourism representatives said testing now needed to be phased out for all vaccinated travelers.

“This is highly punitive for ordinary Canadian families and affects Canadian businesses. It discourages business travel,” said Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“We… need to get rid of this test completely.”

When fully vaccinated Canadians enter the US from the ground, they do not face the need for any tests.

air travelers to the US Must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 antigen test.

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