Canada to abandon PCR testing for trips under 72 hours

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More positive news for Canadian travelers planning short trips away from home – source says soon Canadian residents will not be required to submit a PCR upon return if it has been less than 72 hours.

Canada drops PCR test requirement for travel under 72 hours

Canada drops PCR test for residents returning home after short trips

According to a source, soon fully vaccinated Canadian residents taking short trips abroad (defined as 72 hours or less) will no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR test to return home.

Although Canada has made great improvements to facilitate international travel by removing the quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers, reopening its borders, lifting the travel advisory, and creating a vaccine passport that Canadians can use to traveling abroad, they are still under increasing pressure to drop the obligation to prove a negative Covid-19 PCR test.

canadian airport

But that will change soon, at least for Canadians and permanent residents.

“We plan to take measures to relax the requirements while ensuring the safety of Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday evening.

“We will have an announcement to make in the next few days. “

This is good news for Canadian travelers planning to go to the United States for holiday shopping, as the government is expected to make the official announcement on Friday and the change is expected to take effect at the end of the month or at the end of the month. early December. .

buyers

“We are very pleased to learn that the PCR testing rules that were in place for short-term visits will no longer apply to those who wish to travel to the United States for a day or two,” the Prime Minister said. British Columbia’s John Horgan at a press conference Wednesday. .

Any travel longer than 72 hours outside of Canada will still require a negative PCR test on return, and this does not apply to US or international travelers coming to Canada.

travelers at the airport

Industry calls for similar requirements at Canada-U.S. Border

The US land border recently opened to Canadians, but mainly attracted snowbirds and those traveling for longer periods, as the added cost of a PCR test was not worth it for a weekend.

U.S. companies told Global News that reopening the land border had failed to bring in the influx of Canadian visitors they hoped for, accusing the PCR test requirement of being a hindrance.

canadian border

Some travelers have reported paying between $ 150 and $ 300 for a test, depending on where they are from.

The United States does not have a testing requirement for vaccinated travelers to cross the land border, and only requires antigen testing to enter the country by air, which is much cheaper and faster than a PCR test.

US Congressman Brian Higgins, whose district includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls, called on the Canadian and US governments to develop a cohesive approach for travelers on both sides of the border.

border between Canada and the United States

“The fractured approach to border management by the US and Canadian governments is contributing to public confusion and anger and, frankly, it makes no sense,” Higgins said in a statement.

More changes could happen soon

According to Higgins, the Canadian government said in a meeting that it would present a phased plan to relax testing measures at the border.

Eliminating the PCR test requirement for Canadians and permanent residents absent for less than 72 hours is the first phase of the plan, and it will be followed by more changes for U.S. citizens and other travelers.

People traveling by plane during COVID 19, wearing N95 masks, carrying luggage in airport terminal

Canadian Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty has advocated removing the PCR requirement altogether, arguing that it is not necessary with proof of vaccination.

“Anything that lowers the requirement here is good, so it’s a step forward,” Beatty said.

“What it does is get rid of one nonsense. But it leaves another nonsense in place. And that is the expert task force, when they looked at it, said the decisions at the border should be based on vaccination status. “

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