canada border

People from Canada can now drive to the U.S. to get a COVID vaccine and skip quarantine

Though Ontario and the rest of Canada has greatly expedited its COVID-19 vaccine program in recent weeks, anyone who, for whatever reason, wants to rush to the land where shots are as easy to access as a McDonald's cheeseburger — the U.S., of course — is now federally sanctioned to do.

The rule applies to certain circumstances only, of course: you'll need a note from your healthcare provider here at home saying that the vaccine is medically necessary, and also one from the clinic in the U.S. where you're getting the immunization to verify that it's the reason for your trip.

But, if those two prerequisites are met, Ottawa says it's A-OK to go forth into America to get jabbed, but only for that purpose (no other stops allowed).

And, you won't even have to do the hotel quarantine upon your return.

Though a two-week self-isolation period — including a stay of up to three days in a quarantine facility while you await COVID-19 test results —is mandatory for all entrants to Canada by air, the hotel aspect is not for those who come via a land crossing, or for anyone returning by any means after essential medical services abroad.

In this case, receiving a vaccine internationally has been deemed an acceptable exemption to the federal quarantine rules.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is not requiring those seeking a vaccine south of the border to prove citizenship status in order to provide undocumented migrants with equal access to the shot, and anecdotally, many Canadians have seemed to find the process of getting vaxxed in America quite easy.

As for the reopening of the border for non-essential purposes, the governments of both countries are in continual talks about a prospective date, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now saying that 75 per cent of Canadians will need to be inoculated before he'll consider the move.

Currently, just under 40 per cent of Canadians have received at least one dose.

Lead photo by

Ken Lund

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