Americans rushed to Canada when it first opened but crossing…


Canadians who expected a flood of US visitors after the border was reopened were dismayed to discover that Americans had other plans.

For the first time since March 2021, the US-Canada border was finally opened to vaccinated American travelers on August 2, letting US tourists to visit the Great White North.

Americans came to the nation in droves, with wait times at the border reaching seven hours in some areas.

According to data obtained by the Wall Street Journal from the Canada Border Services Agency, the newly reopened border received roughly 219,000 non-commercial crossings in its first week. Summer 2019 crossing levels were roughly 15% higher in 2021 than they were in summer 2019.

However, as the summer progressed, fewer people crossed the border, and businesses in border communities are still without the American clients they rely on.

This is due to the fact that crossing the Canadian border is no longer as simple as it previously was. Gone are the days when entering Canada was as simple as flashing a passport and answering a few questions from a border guard.

A negative COVID-19 PCR test must be done no more than 72 hours before a flight’s scheduled departure or arrival at a land border crossing for vaccinated Americans wanting to travel north. COVID-19 positive tests can be found between 14 and 180 days previous to entrance for travelers who have recently recovered the virus.

Antigen tests are not permitted in Canada, unlike in other countries such as the United Kingdom. Travelers who have not been vaccinated or who are less than 14 days away from obtaining their final vaccine dose are also not allowed to enter Canada.

Travelers must also complete an online form called “ArriveCan” before arrival in Canada, whether by air, land, or sea. Its requirements include providing a Canadian location where travelers can quarantine if they test positive for the disease, as well as the specific dates of a traveler’s inoculation.

CBSA staff now conduct a question-based health assessment on each arrival at the border, lengthening crossing times.

The limits, according to business leaders, are the reason for a drop in casual crossings.

According to Ritu Khanna, executive director of the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce in Canada’s British Columbia province, “in the past, you’d have folks who just crossed the border for supper and then went back home.” “People are still arriving warily because there are so many criteria,” says the narrator.

According to the Journal, foreign visitors traveling by air increased by 67 percent, although these visitors often avoid border cities entirely and fly directly into Canada’s big cities.

Not all businesses have been affected; one eco-lodge operator in Manitoba has seen an increase in customers since the announcement of the reopening. According to Adam Pauls of Churchill Wild, overseas visitors are the reason his business is booked to capacity starting in mid-September, albeit with limited capacity due to government regulations.

The United States is also contributing to the situation by reducing the number of reasons for Canadians to travel through their own border communities. Canadians are not permitted to cross the land border for non-essential purposes until at least September 21, as part of the Biden administration’s prolonged border restriction.

Air travel into the United States is still allowed, and Canadians can fly there for non-essential purposes. Some border businesses have adjusted, such as a helicopter company that takes tourists from St. Catherines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls, to Buffalo, New York, to bypass border regulations.

On September 7, Canada will open its borders to all other fully vaccinated foreign nationals, potentially boosting business. Seasonal American tourists are becoming a marginal source of revenue for many Canadian businesses as the summer draws to a close.

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