Ottawa will drop the need for COVID-19 testing after brief visits to the United States per. November 30th

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WASHINGTON – The federal government says that from November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians and residents visiting the United States in less than 72 hours will not need an expensive molecular test for COVID-19 to return home.

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The Canadian Public Health Agency also says that by the end of the month, travelers who received the Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covaxin vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes.

Critics in both countries have been complaining for weeks about the need for what is known as a PCR test, which can run between $ 150- $ 300 per person. cotton swab, and says it is a major deterrent to the resumption of cross-border travel.

However, travelers who are out of the country for more than 72 hours will still be required to present a negative molecular test at the border on their way home.

“We can not fail our guard,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a news conference Friday as he unveiled the new rules. “All of us have to work hard to protect the gains we have made.”

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New York Congressman, Rep. Brian Higgins, wants the test to be completely scrapped for vaccinated travelers, but officials say Canada is taking a more responsible, gradual approach to easing its travel restrictions.

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The agency also says that from January 15, it will close certain loopholes in the vaccination requirement for travelers, including international students, athletes, work permit holders and major service providers, including truck drivers.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce immediately panned the decision to leave the PCR test requirement in place for extended trips, calling it a “one-way door on the border.”

“Just as the Christmas shopping season – the most important period for the retail sector – begins, Ottawa is making it easier for Canadians to shop across borders, while maintaining punitive restrictions that deter fully vaccinated Americans from vacationing or shopping in Canada,” the chamber president said. and CEO Perrin Beatty said in a statement.

“The 72-hour cut-off is also arbitrary. It’s hard to understand how travelers are low-risk for 72 hours, but become a danger in hour 73.”

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