Molecular testing requirement for COVID-19 to remain as land border opens: Blair – CBC

Continuation of testing regime is based on PHAC advice, minister says

Oct 17, 2021

Canadians will still need to take a molecular test, like the expensive PCR test, in order to return to Canada from the United States after the land border reopens to fully vaccinated travellers in November.

In an interview on Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said acquiring a negative test has “proven to be one of the more effective requirements” for travellers and that maintaining the requirement was a recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“Again, we’re continuing to evaluate it, and we’ll look at the experience in other jurisdictions. But right now, it’s been a very effective protection for Canadians,” Blair told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton. He noted that some provinces are “very concerned” that people entering Canada are doing so safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The molecular testing requirement has become a significant point of concern since the U.S. announced it would be reopening its land border to fully vaccinated travellers on Nov. 8.

Currently, Canadians can fly to the U.S. as long as they have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure — including a much cheaper and more easily accessed antigen test.

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