Air travelers will be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival in the United States and will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure within three days of boarding their flight, or a COVID-19 viral test positive carried out within three months. and a letter from your health care provider or public health official stating that you have been authorized to travel. Non-essential travelers crossing a land border will be required to show proof of vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request from a border officer – but unlike air travelers, there will be no need to present a COVID test- 19 negative.
The United States has confirmed that it considers travelers fully vaccinated if they have received a vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. This includes travelers who have received mixed dose vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are considered not fully vaccinated if they have not completed the vaccination, cannot be vaccinated, or are not eligible for vaccines, including children under the age of 12. .
Here’s what you need to enter the United States by plane:
- A negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three days of arriving in the United States OR
- A positive COVID-19 test taken between three months before your arrival in the United States AND a letter from your health care provider or public health official stating that you have been authorized to travel
- Proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19. Accepted vaccines will include vaccines approved or authorized by the FDA and those on the WHO emergency use list.
Here is what you need to return to New Brunswick:
- Proof of enrollment in the New Brunswick Travel Enrollment Program
- A negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of your arrival in Canada OR a positive COVID-19 test taken between 14 and 180 days before your arrival in Canada
- A quarantine plan in case you don’t meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveler
- Upload proof of vaccination, quarantine information and travel information up to 72 hours before entering Canada
- For people arriving by boat or ferry, ArriveCAN can be used to submit proof of vaccination within 72 hours before or when entering Canada
- Persons with disabilities and others in special circumstances may be exempted
- All other travel-related documents
A list of accepted COVID-19 tests is available on the Government of Canada website. The most common tests are a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction); a nucleic acid test (NAT) or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT); or isothermal amplification mediated by a reverse transcription loop (RT-LAMP).
These tests use methods such as a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, nasal swab, or saliva sample.
Some people may be selected for mandatory randomized testing, even if they are fully immunized. In this case, you:
- Must pass the arrival test as indicated on the day you enter Canada
- May have a sample taken on arrival or receive a home kit to complete within 24 hours of entering Canada
- Don’t wait for the results; you can travel to your final destination, including taking connecting flights
- Don’t have to quarantine yourself while waiting for your results
- Are not required to pay any fees for the arrival test
The Government of Canada says that you must follow the instructions given to you when entering Canada.
People who have already recovered from COVID-19 in the 14 to 180 days before their arrival; who arrive by boat; or children under 5 are exempted from the arrival tests. Visit the Government of Canada website to see who is qualified for exemption.
Travelers who fail to comply with testing requirements may not be exempt from quarantine and may also be required to visit a quarantine facility, or face fines or other enforcement action.
“The final determination of entry eligibility and quarantine requirements is made by a government official at the border based on information presented at the time of entry into Canada,” a press release read. Health Canada media relations.
Travel to the United States of 72 hours or less
Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents and protected persons traveling to the United States for 72 hours or less will not be required to take a pre-entry test in the United States to return to Canada.
Instead, they must get a negative COVID-19 test in Canada before they leave.
However, if the test is older than 72 hours when they return to Canada, they will need to take a new US pre-entry molecular test before entering.
All travelers must use the free ArriveCAN app to enter proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information, up to 72 hours prior to travel before returning to Canada.
Health Canada says that if the information is not entered into the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival at the border, travelers will not be considered fully vaccinated travelers, even if they meet all other requirements.
Confusing and worrying travel requirements for some
Mary Nelson of New Brunswick bought tickets in April to attend a show in Portland, Maine, believing that by mid-November the trip would be easier to organize.
Although the borders opened up by then, Nelson had not anticipated the hassle of booking a PCR test to return to Canada, she told Information Morning Fredericton.
She also wonders if showing a negative PCR test done in the country, before traveling to the United States, is an effective policy.
“I’m not a scientist and I’m not an epidemiologist, and I’m sure these are the people who advise when these policies are put in place, but yeah, it seems a little strange that I can take a test here,” [get] potentially exposed while in the US, then take my three-day negative test with me to the customs office. “
John Slipp, owner and operator of the Woodstock duty free shop at the Atlantic Travel Center near the Maine-New Brunswick border, said that while the opening of the border is welcome, restrictions on the PCR testing will most likely hinder many potential travelers from taking the plunge.
“Can the government consider the possibility of not requiring a PCR test?” [and] accept the rapid results of the rapid test? Can they then ask people to get tested when they return to the country, requiring them to record the results of those tests online or something like that, while still giving them the option to travel? “
Slipp’s store has seen its business drop dramatically since the border was closed in March 2020. While opening the border will help business, Slipp doesn’t know by how much.
“What size of inventory orders should I make for November 8?” Am I putting money in stock or not? It’s a bit of a balancing act, and I’m doing my best.
“Can we go through another winter like we did the last two winters?… I don’t know if I can or not.
Penalties for non-compliance
Canadian citizens, individuals registered under the Indian Act or permanent residents who do not provide a negative PCR test or register in the ArriveCAN app may be subject to financial and even criminal consequences.
They may be subject to a fine of up to $ 5,000 plus additional surcharges, or be subject to criminal prosecution. They may also be required to go to a designated quarantine facility if they show symptoms upon arrival at the border or do not have an appropriate quarantine plan, depending on the Government of Canada.
Travelers who have submitted a fraudulent PCR test or who have made a false declaration while boarding a flight to Canada may also be subject to fines in excess of $ 10,000, but more severe penalties may also be imposed. imposed.
“Failure to follow the instructions provided when entering Canada or putting others at risk for serious communicable disease are offenses under the Quarantine Act and can result in up to three years of jail and / or up to $ 1 million in fines, ”says the Government of Canada’s website.
Where and how to get a PCR test
Canadians traveling to the United States must present a negative COVID-19 test (from the list of accepted tests) taken within 3 days of their scheduled return to Canada.
PCR tests, the most commonly accepted COVID-19 test, when purchased from private companies, often cost over C $ 100 and typically take up to one to two days to get results.
Canadians are urged to contact health care providers in the destination state for a list of where they can have a PCR test if they stay longer than 72 hours in the United States. To take a test in New Brunswick, travelers can visit the Government of New Brunswick website to schedule a test trip.