us travel to canada

Here are the new rules and restrictions for travel between Canada and the US

Rules and restrictions for travel between Canada to the U.S. just got a bit more difficult thanks to the new omicron variant.

Things were looking up for travellers recently. The U.S. Canada border finally reopened on Nov. 8, and then Canada later loosened requirements for testing on re-entry.

Now with news of the omicron variant spreading around the world — including close to Toronto this week — countries are tightening up travel rules.  The U.S. has just announced new travel rules that will start early next week.

All inbound international travelers, including Canadians, will be required to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, the U.S. said in a statement.

"This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the omicron variant," the statement said.

Getting a COVID test done so quickly could prove difficult and costly — up to $350 for a rapid test, according to CTV.

Previously, the U.S. required a test, in fully vaccinated people, no more than three days before flying from outside the country.

There was no mention if testing requirements would also apply to travellers crossing at land borders.

If you are travelling in the U.S., you will also need to continue to wear a face-covering or mask on airplanes, trains and public transport, the statement said.

New rules for travellers entering Canada

Canada also announced that all international travellers (aside from those coming from the U.S.) regardless of vaccination status, will be tested for COVID-19.

This new rule could start in a few days, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said. And Canada could expand to testing requirements to American travellers, Duclos added.

The rules for unvaccinated travellers to Canada remain with a requirement for a 14 day quarantine, and a need to get tested upon arrival and again on day eight of their quarantine.

Travel bans and restrictions may have come too late for the fast moving omicron variant.

"Unfortunately for this omicron variant, it's too late at this stage, I think. It’s already here," Julianne Piper, a research fellow and project coordinator with the Pandemics and Borders research project at Simon Fraser University, told Global News

Lead photo by

Daniel Lim

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