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OTTAWA / TORONTO – Starting in early November, the United States will open its land and sea borders to fully vaccinated non-essential Canadian travelers for the first time since March 2020.

While the Public Health Agency of Canada still advises against non-essential international travel, the reopening of the border means Canadians can travel to the United States by car to visit family or take a day trip. day, which Canada has allowed fully immunized Americans to do since August 9. .

With the official date of the policy change not yet announced, details remain scarce.

But, here’s what we know so far.

US REQUIREMENTS FOR LAND ENTRY?

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told CTV News he expects US policy to be “aligned” with Canada’s approach, but there are differences between what Canada is asking travelers to show before entry and what Americans are supposed to charge.

While Canada requires any eligible US traveler who visits to present a negative test result at the border, the United States is not expected to require Canadian citizens to show proof of a negative test before crossing at a point of ‘land or sea entry.

This is different from the United States air travel rules, which require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before departure.

Of course, all basic travel documents, such as a passport, are still required to cross the border.

WILL MIXED DOSES BE ACCEPTED?

The United States should recognize travelers who have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, although it is not approved for use in the United States

However, it remains uncertain whether those who received an injection of this viral vector vaccine as part of a mixed dose regimen with an injection of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA will be recognized as fully vaccinated by the United States. United.

While Canada and some other countries have allowed mixing of doses for the first and second injection, the United States has not.

Blair said the government had offered to provide Americans with all the evidence and studies that supported the validity of the mixed-dose strategy, and said discussions were “ongoing.”

“The World Health Organization recognizes mixed doses, and that should be enough,” said New York Democratic Representative Brian Higgins, who has been pushing for the reopening for months, in an interview on CTV News’ Power Play. Channel Wednesday.

THE RULES OF CANADA UNCHANGED

For now, the Government of Canada’s travel rules and restrictions remain unchanged for returning Canadians from the United States.

This means that to re-enter Canada, whether hours or days after entering the United States, travelers will need to undergo a negative PCR test within 72 hours of an intended entry into Canada.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was asked Thursday in Washington whether Canada could remove testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada and appeared firm the requirement will not change.

“Canadians need a valid PCR test to return to Canada,” she said.

“I truly believe that when it comes to ending the fight against COVID, the Canadian approach – which has been to follow the science, follow the recommendations of public health authorities and err on the side of caution – has us really, really served. good.”

For travel to the United States of less than 72 hours, travelers are permitted to complete their pre-entry test in Canada before leaving the country.

If fully vaccinated, travelers will not have to self-quarantine upon arrival in Canada, provided they test negative and are free of symptoms.

FLY IN THE UNITED STATES?

While the US land border does not require a negative COVID-19 test, flying to the United States is a different story.

US air travel rules require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than three days before the flight, or proof that the traveler has recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past. last three months.

Evidence of a COVID-19 recovery would include documentation of a positive viral test and a letter from a healthcare provider or public health official stating that the passenger has been released from isolation and can therefore travel, according to the American Centers for. Disease control.

This documentation must be presented to the airline before boarding a flight to the United States, and exemptions are only granted in “extremely limited” situations, such as an emergency evacuation or a person in serious danger.

Of course, all basic travel documents, such as a passport, are still required to cross the border.

SOON VACCINES WILL BE NECESSARY FOR ALMOST ALL TRAVELS

As of October 30, Canada has required passengers and personnel in the federally regulated air, rail and marine industries to be fully immunized.

There will be a grace period until the end of November, during which proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be accepted.

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