Canadians jubilant as PCR tests no longer required for shorter trips to U.S.

Lab technician checkin PCR tests

Later this week, the federal government is set to announce an end to PCR testing for Canadians travelling to the U.S. for less than 72 hours. 

The policy change is expected to take hold by early December, and will cover both citizens and permanent residents. 

What’s the problem with PCR tests

The decisions came in the aftermath of much scrutiny from either side of the border; travellers were put off because of the costs incurred by taking PCR tests, which can range from $150 to $400 depending on the speed the test is turned around.

The policy is especially frustrating because, when the United States opened it’s land and sea borders on Nov 8, their only requirement was that travellers be fully vaccinated.

Do I still require a PCR test for longer trips?

Unfortunately for those travelling for more than a couple of days, a negative PCR test is still required on return to Canada. 

B.C. Premier John Hogan described testing fully vaccinated travellers as “stupidity”, with many B.C. residents using a test taken in Canada to re-enter the country.

“If we have double immunized traffic going back and forth across the border, then why would we need a testing regime? I think it’s excessive and I’m going to make that case to the prime minister,” he said.

As the number of fully vaccinated Canadians ticks past 85%, we are hopeful that any kind of testing for business and leisure travel will soon be but a distant memory.

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