Opening of the land border between the United States and Canada: requirements for crossing Canadians


Historic restrictions that limited travel to the United States are expected to be lifted on Monday for international visitors fully vaccinated with proof.

This means that Canadians – and other visitors from countries like China, India and Brazil – can reunite with their families after several months, search for offers to buy, and watch Red Wings and Red Wings games. Lions.

“Everyone,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said, “can’t wait to breathe” a little more as the border reopens.

Be prepared for Canadian tourists, but not for a sudden influx of them.

Dilkens said a requirement to travel to Canada – to have a negative polymerase chain reaction test that can cost $ 200 – is likely to prevent many people who wish to drive from Ontario to Michigan from doing so.

He explained that the testing provision does not make sense for day trippers and does not provide the type of health insurance the government thinks it does because someone could easily contract the virus. during her visit.

He wants to see this requirement lifted.

“Twenty months of separation have been tough for a lot of people,” Dilkens told Free Press. “We’ve always looked at Detroit as an extension of our backyard. On the business side, we are closely integrated, but also on the family side.

From a personal perspective, Dilkens said he was unable to visit his older brother, Tom, and his family, who live on the Detroit side of the border.

When her niece got married, her parents had to take a roundabout air route through Toronto and Montreal to get in and out of the United States, instead of just crossing the border to Detroit.

It was one of the quirks of homeland security rules.

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The Canadian border reopened in August for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens.

Here are some other details about the border openings:

Conditions to enter?

For the first time since March 2020, non-citizen travelers will be allowed to enter the United States through land borders and ferry terminals for a non-essential reason – primarily, it means tourism.

You must have proof of an approved vaccination, verbally attest to intention to travel and vaccination status, and have acceptable identification, such as a passport, enhanced driver’s license, or enhanced tribal card .

What vaccines are accepted?

Accepted vaccines include those approved and licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and which have a World Health Organization emergency use list.

When are you fully vaccinated?

You are fully vaccinated 14 days after a single dose vaccine, the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, the full series of an active vaccine in the US-based AstraZeneca or Novavax trials, or a mixed combination of vaccines administered 17 days apart.

What about the children?

Children, who until recently did not have an approved vaccine, are not required to be vaccinated to travel to the United States once the ban is lifted, but they must still show proof of negative coronavirus tests before coming in.

Will wait times at the border increase?

Yes, of course, especially at the busiest level crossings.

Can you shorten the waiting times?

The Department of Homeland Security suggests using a digital app, also known as CBP One, to speed border crossings. The free app is designed to allow eligible travelers to submit their passport and customs declaration information.

It aims to streamline the process of entering travelers into the United States by reducing passport control inspections and overall wait times. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Payment for the Detroit-Windsor tunnel?

The tunnel will remain cashless on the Detroit side for vehicles bound for Canada. The Canadian side will have cash tolls until the end of the year. The cashless system is based on credit cards, debit cars and mobile payments. Or travelers can sign up for an electronic Nexpress account, which offers a toll reduction.

Will traffic in the tunnels increase?

Since March of last year, traffic has declined by 70%, said Carolyn Brown, CEO of the tunnel. But she added that the tunnel was fully staffed and ready for an increase in passenger numbers after Monday.

She said they had “limited optimism” about the return of the numbers. In 2019, the traffic in the tunnel was 160,000 vehicles per week. In 2020 it fell to 32,000, and this year it has risen slightly to 50,000.

Brown – who declined to say how much revenue has been lost beyond “a lot” and “millions” – said she called this limited optimism because a required virus test could reduce the number of vehicles.

What about the ferry terminals?

Ferry lines may reopen, but it’s unclear if they all will.

The Walpole Algonac ferry service, between Algonac and Walpole Island, Canada, for example, was closed in 2020. Its voicemail, as of Thursday, has not been changed since it closed.

Its website also doesn’t have an update, saying only that, “We are NOT running !!! Please be patient as we prepare to resume operations. We will post HERE when we plan to open. We will post HERE. can’t wait to see you! ”

The human toll of closing borders?

It’s hard to measure the human toll of the border closure, but Edward Alden – the distinguished Ross visiting professor at Western Washington University – wrote a foreign policy column earlier this year that claimed the “lockdown” had destroyed lives.

He used his own experience as a native of upstate New York who moved to Vancouver, married a Canadian, and often crossed the border until the pandemic. He said the human costs of closing international borders have been enormous.

He called for more cooperation and compassion from the government, noting that a person who has been separated from a loved one said the shutdown killed her sanity in ways she could never have imagined .

Will things ever get back to normal?

The mayor of Windor believes that a big step in this direction is to “harmonize” the rules so that people can resume their journey across the border without costly testing. At the right time, he said, he hopes vaccination restrictions will be lifted as well.

Eventually, he said, we can go back to pre-pandemic travel, but “I think we’re looking at years, as opposed to months, before that happens, and it’s tough for small businesses to s. ‘hang on and wait for that good day to come. “

This, he added, is “just the reality of the situation we find ourselves in.”

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected]

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