Feds to nix COVID-19 test requirement for short jaunts to the U.S. as of Nov.30

The change applies to Canadians and permanent residents who are in the U.S. for less than 72 hours

Canadians and permanent residents who visit the U.S. for a short trip won’t be required to have a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed back across the border.

The federal government said on Friday that stays south of the border for less than 72 hours won’t require Canadians to pay for a costly molecular test for COVID-19 in order to return. The PCR test can run between $150-$300 per swab.

Politicians, business groups and the tourism sector on both sides of the border have been pushing Ottawa to drop the requirements.

Travellers who are out of the country for more than 72 hours, however, will still be required to show a negative molecular test at the border on their way home.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also says that as of Jan. 15, it is closing certain loopholes in the vaccination requirement for travellers, including for international students, athletes, work permit holders and essential service providers, including truck drivers.

The government also announced it will expand its list of accepted vaccines for travellers to include COVAXIN, Sinovac and Sinopharm, all of which have been approved by the World Health Organization.