Boards of commerce, chambers of commerce, and tourism organizations in the United States and Canada are calling on the Canadian government to remove the requirements to produce a negative PCR test for travel across the land border between countries.
The Canadian border is currently open for recreational travel, but only for fully vaccinated travelers who produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
The United States is expected to open its land border for international travel in November, but without a negative test requirement. Proof of complete immunization will be required to travel to the US.
US land border to reopen to vaccinated Canadians
“What we hope to get to is to show a vaccination card like the one you would have to do for theater, music or sports,” said the executive director of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, Guy Ochiogrosso.
“When both sides of the border are aligned and it is similar to what we all experience as a new normal, that is when we will see an increase in normal activities.”
Canadians account for about 30 percent of retail sales in Whatcom County of Washington state, which includes Bellingham and Blaine.
All Canadian officials have said so far that the PCR requirement is that it will continue for now.
“Our current testing regime that exists for both land and air crossings will remain the same at this time,” read a statement from the federal health minister’s office.
“As the COVID situation and international travel requirements remain fluid, officials and experts will continue to assess current measures and make necessary adjustments as necessary.”
How the reopening of the US land border will affect Point Roberts
Ochiogrosso said he expects travelers to come to the United States to shop in situations where they already have a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
Private companies offer the test for more than $ 200 in most places. The province’s testing program is supposed to be used only for those with COVID-19 symptoms and not for those planning to travel.
Blaine’s companies are also expressing enthusiasm and doubts about opening the border under current guidance.
“All of our businesses have been closed a few days a week and for lunch, hopefully with the border that will change,” said Blaine Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sheila Wood.
The land borders between Canada and the United States will open in November. This is what we know
Canadian companies have also been affected by the PCR test requirement.
In Vancouver alone, the pandemic caused an estimated $ 10 billion loss in tourism-related spending.
Many American tourists have decided not to travel to Canada due to the additional cost. The business and tourism sector is already trying to plan for 2022, and the lack of clarity in the rules is causing problems.
The United States will reopen the land border between Canada and Mexico to vaccinated travelers in early November
“American travelers spend twice as much as domestic travelers. We have done well with domestic travelers, but we can’t keep up with that, ”said Paul Nursey, Destination Victoria CEO.
“If we don’t have more clarity on our largest source market, the United States, that’s a big problem. The federal government must go ahead, appoint a cabinet and work on these issues. “
See link »
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.