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US-Canada border reopens, travelers waste no time

Canada is requiring its citizens to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon their return
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:30 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The U.S.-Canada border reopened Monday. It had been closed to nonessential travel since the start of the COVID pandemic.

Vaccinated Canadians can finally cross the border into Michigan. Chris Perry, with Customs and Border Patrol, said travelers are not wasting any time.

“We’ve been consistent throughout the day since midnight when the border reopened,” said Perry.

For many, travel restrictions meant people were unable to see their families. Olivia Kurajian, a Michigan State University Law student, said the past 20 months have been difficult for her family.

“The hardest thing for me is watching my daughter have to struggle through that because for me I could rationalize that one day in the future I could still see my friends and people that I counted as a family in Canada,” said Kurajian. “Because I’m an American citizen, this still felt like home to me. But my daughter grew up from 6 weeks old until almost 4 years old in Canada.”

She said travel is easier for those entering the United States Monday. Canada still requires those crossing their border to have a molecular COVID-19 test. Rapids tests are not accepted.

Jay Loftus, a staff member at Michigan State University, has been stuck in Canada. He said these requirements are difficult to plan for.

“Although we can come across, it’s not so much what the American restrictions are on Canadians coming over -- it’s when we want to come back and that’s the limit that I face right now too because I have family that I have to be here for,” said Loftus.

Kurajian said that even though they can travel, it won’t be like it was before the pandemic.

“Now it has to be thoughtfully planned out and lots of testing and vaccine requirements, telephone apps in order to be admitted into the country,” Kurajian said. “So, it’s a lot more difficult and it has a big impact on families.”

For those entering the U.S. from Canada, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations is required to be shown at the border. Vaccinated travelers are not required to show a negative COVID-19 test.

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