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Canada To Drop PCR Testing For Trips Less Then 72 Hours

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More positive news for Canadian travelers who are planning short trips away from home – a source says soon Canadian residents won’t have to present a PCR when returning if it’s been less than 72 hours.

Canada Is Dropping The PCR Test Requirement For Trips Less Then 72 Hours

Canada Dropping PCR Test For Residents Returning Home From 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 negative PCR test to get back into the country.

While Canada has made great improvements in facilitating international travel by dropping the quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers, reopening its borders, lifting the travel advisory, and creating a vaccine passport that Canadians can use to travel abroad, they are still facing mounting pressure to drop the requirement to show proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test.

canada airport

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

“We are looking at making steps to loosen up requirements while at the same time keeping Canadians safe,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday evening.

“We will have an announcement to make in the coming days.”

This is good news for Canadian travelers who plan to go to to the U.S. to do holiday shopping, as the government is expected to make the official announcement on Friday and the change is expected to come into effect at the end of the month or early December.

shoppers

“We are very happy to hear that the PCR testing rules that were in place for short visits will no longer apply for those who want to travel to the United States for a day or two,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a Wednesday press conference.

Any trips longer than 72 hours outside of Canada will still need a negative PCR test upon return, and it does not apply to U.S. or other international travelers coming to Canada.

travelers in airport

Industry Pushing For Similar Requirements On U.S.-Canada Border

The U.S. land border recently opened up to Canadians, but mainly attracted snowbirds and those traveling for longer periods of time, as the added cost of a PCR test wasn’t worth it for a weekend trip.

U.S. businesses told Global News the reopening of the land border did not bring the flood of Canadian visitors they hoped, blaming the PCR test requirement as a barrier.

canada border

Some travelers have reported paying bettween $150 and $300 for a test, depending on their point of departure.

The U.S. does not have a testing requirement for vaccinated travelers to cross the land border, and only requires an antigen test to enter the country via air which is considerable cheaper, and faster, then a PCR test.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, whose district includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls, called on the Canadian and U.S. government to develop a consistent approach for travelers on both sides of the border.

canada us border

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

More Changes Could Come Soon

According to Higgins, the Canadian government said during a meeting that it will introduce a multi-phase plan to ease testing measures at the border.

Eliminating the PCR testing requirement for Canadians and permanent residents away for fewer 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 face masks, carrying luggage in airport terminal

Canadian Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty has been advocating to scrap the PCR requirement entirely, arguing it is not necessary with proof of vaccination.

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

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

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Christian

Saturday 20th of November 2021

So, if I understand correctly, if somebody steps out of the country for less than 72 hours, he won't be able to catch the virus, right? Is this based on science, or money and politics?