us border opening

The U.S.-Canada border is opening on Nov. 8 but there are rules

The news many Canadians have been waiting for finally came this week — the U.S. border is reopening to fully vaccinated travellers next month.

People with family and friends in the United States and cross-border shoppers haven't been able to cross the land border easily since March 20, 2020.

This week, Homeland Security announced that the land, sea and air borders would reopen for non-essential, fully vaccinated travellers, and today a Whitehouse official confirmed the date for reopening is Nov. 8.

Unvaccinated visitors to the U.S. will be broadly barred from entering with limited exemptions (young children being one), The New York Times reports.

The news was welcomed by those waiting for months to visit the U.S.

"Wow, finally the land border will open November 8th," wrote one person. "Haven't seen my aunts, uncles, cousins in almost 2 years because they are just over the buffalo border."

But before people pack their bags, there are some things still unclear.

There is some confusion over if people who received doses of two different vaccines will be considered to be fully vaccinated in the US.

In Canada, one dose of AstraZeneca followed by a second of either Pfizer or Moderna was approved in Canada but not in the U.S.

The other hitch is the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test result to re-enter Canada, a Canadian border policy that could be in effect at land borders.

The Toronto Star found that while PCR tests with a 72-hour turnaround are typically free for American residents, they cost roughly $75 (U.S. dollars) for Canadians and the one Buffalo location offering the test in 24 hours costs $160 (U.S. dollars).

So those looking to make a quick trip to Trader Joe's or Target may want to check the fine print before heading out.

Lead photo by

Jeff Hitchcock

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