Canadian sports fans hoping to catch a Seattle Seahawks or Seattle Kraken game are urged to carefully plan their trips across the border, or they could face a nasty surprise when they return to Canada.
The United States will reopen its land border crossings to fully vaccinated Canadians on November 8.
U.S. border officials do not require proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but the story is quite different when returning to Canada, where a negative test is required.
This test cannot be a rapid antigen test, and it cannot be older than 72 hours.
“I’ve been told they literally watch down to the minute, and if someone has more than 72 hours, that’s it,” US immigration attorney Len Saunders said.
That’s why Seahawks season ticket holder Aneesh Kumar has admitted he won’t be able to attend any game this season because it’s too risky and expensive.
For shorter trips, Canadians are allowed to take a test at home before crossing the border, but must plan carefully. They must allow themselves sufficient time to travel to their destination in the United States and return before the 72 hour test limit expires.
Travel tests in British Columbia are expensive, ranging from just under $ 200 to almost $ 400 at some clinics.
“At the end of the day, $ 200 isn’t something I’m really interested in spending on testing,” said Kumar, who is fully vaccinated.
In fact, Kumar said he could donate his tickets.
Travelers who do not arrive at the border on time must take another test in the United States.
“I’ve heard of customers rushing on I-5 to the Canadian border who were worried about traffic,” Saunders said.
Already, many clinics near the border say they are full on certain days, and test results sometimes take up to 48 hours due to the increased volume.