Short border hops without PCR tests as of Nov. 30

Geoff Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative

Cross border shoppers, concert goers, sports fans, chambers of commerce, and tourist services were quick to celebrate when Canada announced adjustments to border measures that will take effect before December.

Soon, vaccinated Canadians will be able to leave the country for fewer than 3 days without needing to show negative Covid test results to come back home.

Currently, all travellers over the age of five must provide negative molecular Covid test results to re-enter the country, or a positive result that is 14-180 days old.

But a Public Health Agency of Canada statement released on Friday announced that, starting Nov. 30, “fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will not have to present a pre-entry molecular test.”

This will make short, cross border roundtrips simpler and cheaper, and eliminate an odd limbo that had been in effect since land borders re-opened earlier this month.

The adjustment closes the loophole where people leaving the country and returning inside the 72-hour window currently may need to take a test before leaving the country in order to qualify for re-entry at the end of their voyage.

“Individuals with a right of entry” means the new exemption applies to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and individuals registered under the Indian Act. Travellers must prove they are fully vaccinated and have been out of the country fewer than 72 hours.
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