Canada-U.S. border town mayors call for end to Canada's COVID-19 test requirement for travelers
The Xinhua reported according to CTV, some border town mayors on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border held a virtual news conference on Monday morning to call on Canada to cancel the COVID-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.
The Xinhua said that the conference was held as the United States reopened its land border with Canada to fully vaccinated recreational travelers after 19 months of closure.
It mentioned that the reopening of the world's longest undefended border is seen as a sign that restrictions are loosening and more international leisure travel may be on the horizon.
The mayors said a big obstacle for travelers still remains as when entering Canada, they must take a molecular test such as a PCR test, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
They said the requirement for a PCR test to return to Canada is unreasonable and costly, calling the requirement a hard stop barrier for families to reunite except for the wealthiest of Canadians.
They argued that while the U.S. land border is now open, the cost of Canada's test requirement will continue to hamper a return to tourism on both sides of the border.
When entering Canada, no matter how short their trip, travelers must take a pre-arrival molecular COVID-19 test such as a PCR test, which can cost anywhere from 150 to 300 Canadian dollars.
Canada's test requirement first caused complaints earlier this month when the United States announced it would reopen its land border to fully vaccinated travelers on Nov. 8, and not require them to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.
Travelers heading into the United States at major land border crossings experienced wait times of up to three hours in some areas on the first day in 20 months that fully vaccinated Canadians were allowed to cross for non-essential visits, according to CTV