Eager Ottawa and eastern Ontario travellers prepare for reopening of U.S. land border
OTTAWA -- The U.S. is set to reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov. 8 after keeping the border closed to non-essential travel since the start of the pandemic.
However, if you're planning a trip south, you'll need to be well prepared and have the right documents ready to go.
When the border opens for the first time in 20 months, Justin Bosquet will be counting down the days until he passes through customs.
"We're trying to get out, we haven't been to a football game yet this year and with the sounds of the border opening, as soon as we heard that news we bought our tickets that day," said Bosquet.
He and a group of friends will be travelling to Buffalo for an NFL football game in mid-November.
"We're going to celebrate you know but we're a little bit confused with the PCR testing and truthfully all the rules and regulations involved in crossing the land border right now," said Bosquet.
Beyond normal documentation to cross the border, you can now only do so if you're fully vaccinated and proof will be required. A negative COVID test won't be necessary to enter the U.S., but it will be required to re-enter Canada and must be done within 72 hours of entry.
The rules apply regardless of how long your trip is.
"You need to expect to wait a little while, we're expecting there will be significant lineups at the border. You wanna make sure you have snacks, drinks, and your mind ready to be waiting an hour or two hours," said Jeff Walker, CEO of CAA North and East Ontario.
The U.S. land border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020, while Canada reopened its border to non-essential American travellers in August.
"All the snowbirds are getting excited about going down to the U.S., people are getting excited and they're ready to go," said Walker.
The move to reopen the U.S. land borders is a welcome step toward normalcy for travellers like Bosquet.
"We're beyond excited to hear the news, you know it gives us a little bit of sense of that life coming back we're a let o go out and enjoy the things we want to do and football is one of them," he said.