How some Canadian travellers are getting free COVID-19 tests in the U.S. to return home – CBC

CBC News interviewed 6 Canadians who got free tests at a U.S. pharmacy or clinic

Nov 10, 2021

When Ian Hutcheon inquired about getting a COVID-19 test last month at a Walgreens pharmacy in Gold Canyon, Ariz., before his flight home to Calgary, he got a pleasant surprise.

“I happened to ask to speak to the pharmacist, who said, ‘Oh, we can test you for free,'” said Hutcheon. “I was a little incredulous, but he insisted.”

Travellers entering Canada must provide proof of a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their entry. And those molecular tests — such as the popular PCR test — can cost hundreds of dollars.

As a result, Canada’s testing requirement has sparked protests from politicians and tourism groups on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, who complain the tests can be cost-prohibitive.

But CBC News interviewed six Canadians who recently travelled to the U.S., and got a free molecular test at a pharmacy or a clinic before their return to Canada.

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