Here's what Ottawa, eastern Ontario travellers need to know about U.S. land border crossing requirements
The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- Canadians will be able to drive into the United States for non-essential reasons on Monday, when the U.S. opens its land and sea borders to fully vaccinated travellers.
It will be the first time since March 2020 that the land border will be open to non-essential travel.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at what you need to know to cross the U.S. land border.
What you need to cross the U.S. border
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says fully vaccinated, non-citizen travellers at U.S. land ports of entry or a ferry terminal should be prepared to:
- Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination
- Verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection
The U.S. has announced fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will not need to show proof of a negative test before crossing the land border. This is different than U.S. air travel rules, which requires all air passengers two years of age or older to present a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three days of departure.
The U.S. says all FDA approved and authorized vaccines, as well as all vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization will be accepted for travel.
Accepted COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC, include
- One dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
What do you need to know about returning to Canada at land and sea border crossings
The Canada Border Services Agency says border measures remain in place for travellers entering or returning to Canada.
Fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada must complete the mandatory pre-arrival molecular COVID-19 test and submit their mandatory information including their digital proof of vaccination through the ArriveCan app or website within 72 hours before arriving in Canada.
The CBSA says Antigen tests (rapid tests) are not accepted.
Day trips to the United States
The Canada Border Services Agency says if you're planning a day trip or overnight trip to the United States, you can take your pre-arrival COVID-19 test before leaving Canada.
"For short trips, that are less than 72 hours, Canadian citizens, people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents and protected persons travelling to the United States are allowed to take their pre-arrival molecular test before they leave Canada," said the CBSA in a media release.
"If the test is more than 72 hours old when they re-enter Canada, they will be required to get a new pre-arrival molecular test in the United States."
Where can I get my proof of vaccination?
Residents of Ontario and Quebec can download their proof of vaccination from the provincial governments.
Visit the Ontario and Quebec government websites to download your enhanced vaccine certificate.
Where can I get a test for travel in Ottawa and eastern Ontario?
Ottawa's assessment centres no longer provide free COVID-19 tests for the purpose of pre-travel clearance.
Here is a list of private providers offering COVID-19 tests for pre-travel clearance
Riverside Travel Medicine Clinic
PCR test costs $198
- 411-1919 Riverside Drive, Ottawa
Appletree Medical Centres
PCR test costs $175.60 (tax included)
- 2150 Robertson Rd., Ottawa
- 356 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa
- 1595 Merivale Rd., Ottawa
- 2573 Baseline Rd., Ottawa
- 150 Katimavik Rd., Ottawa
- 225 Preston St., Ottawa
- Visit Appletree Medical Group to book online
Immigration Physician Ottawa
PCR test costs $165
- 1935 Bank St., Ottawa
- 4289 Innes Rd., Orleans
Shoppers Drug Mart
COVID-19 PCR testing costs $150 plus tax
- Check online for locations
Lacroix Medical Clinic
- 232 Boulevard Saint Joseph, Gatineau, Québec
- Visit cliniquesmedicaleslacroix.com
Med+ Pharmacy in Kingston
PCR test costs $150 + HST
- 277 Bath Rd., Kingston, Ont.
- For more information www.medpluspharmacykingston.com
Dynacare Clinics in Montreal
- 475, boulevard de la Côte-Vertu, Saint-Laurent, Québec
- 8560, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, Quebec
Border Wait Times
The Canada Border Services Agency updates border wait times on its website. The displayed wait times are updated at least once an hour.
Here is a list of the borders in eastern Ontario
- Cornwall, Ont. – The Seaway International Bridge/Three Nations Crossing
- Prescott, Ont. – Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge
- Lansdowne, Ont. - Thousand Islands Bridge
CAA Travel Tips
CAA North and East Ontario offers the following advice to Canadians considering travelling to the U.S. across land borders.
- Standards will vary by destination, and not everything may be open, or fully open. Book your accommodations and activities before you go and check out their protocols in advance to make sure you will feel comfortable.
- Pack snacks, water, masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies – not only for the trip across the border, but to have on hand at your final destination.
- Don’t travel if anyone in your party or household is sick.
- Travel with all necessary travel documentation, including passport, proof of vaccination, negative COVID test as required, your provincial health card and health insurance cards. Have the ArriveCAN app loaded on your phone.
- Review your travel insurance policies and understand what you're covered for before you travel.
- Register as a Canadian travelling abroad with the Government of Canada to receive important information and updates. Visit travel.gc.ca/register to register online.