By Doug Draper
Posted October 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
It has been 19 long months since Canada and the United States closed our border bridges to all but essential travel – the longest closure of the border to citizens of both countries in our lifetime.
And now the U.S. government has finally announced a date for allowing fully vaccinated Canadians to cross the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and other land border crossings since they were closed in March of 2020.
That date is Monday, November 8th – more than three months after Canada opened the border to fully vaccinated Canadians this past August.
The news appears to be greeted positively by many on both sides of the border, but one of the outstanding questions is this – will both governments agree that vaccination is enough and not require border crossers to take a costly test for COVID-19 too?
On this front, Canada has been the big stickler since August when it comes to also requiring that fully vaccinated Americans crossing to the Canadian side also show proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
In a recent news release, U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins who represents the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York area, and has long been pressing for re-opening the border said he is advocating advocate for the removal of arduous testing requirements which he views as redundant “for the vaccinated and an obstacle to the mutually beneficial binational exchange between Canada and the United States.”
Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati, in an interview broadcast on CBC radio this October 16th, said he also hopes the testing requirement will be dropped. He added that the cost of the test – as high as $200 per person – is discouraging a number of people from taking the cross-border trip.
Niagara At Large will let you know what happens on the testing front.
In the meantime, you can click on the following link for a recent commentary Niagara At Large posted on the testing issue – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/10/14/showing-proof-of-being-fully-vaccinated-should-be-enough-to-cross-canada-u-s-border-bridges/ .
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