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Higgins: Canada leaders should remove border testing requirement

The U.S. border will open to non-essential Canadian travelers on Monday at 12:01 a.m.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The United States is preparing to welcome non-essential Canadian travelers back across the border on Monday.

“Albeit late, it’s a very good sign and we will celebrate it the best that we can,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.

Canadians who plan to travel into the U.S. will need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to a border agent, which is expected to increase wait times next week.

However, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, proof of a negative COVID-19 test will not be required like it is for United States travelers going into Canada.

Congressman Brian Higgins is urging the Canadian government to drop its COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.

“In border communities such as Western New York and Southern Ontario, the local economies depend on the free flow of goods and people across the border, often multiple times per day. The expectation that fully vaccinated Canadians and Americans will be able to afford multiple tests per week for the indefinite future to go about their business ignores the economic reality and is financially unsustainable for working families,” Higgins said.

Higgins said he has met with members of the Canadian Parliament and mayors in Ontario, CA about the testing requirement. He said they are in agreeance that the testing requirement is “redundant” and will stop some people from making that cross-border trip.

Before traveling into Canada, travelers must take a COVID-19 molecular test up to 72 hours before you arrive. Rapid tests are not accepted. This testing requirement is also for Canadians returning to Canada after a trip.

You also need to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination and have a quarantine plan in case you test positive or become symptomatic upon arrival.

Higgins said Canada is the largest international inbound market to the U.S., with nearly 21 million visitors spending $20.8 billion in 2019.

"That's the impact that was largely lost over the past 18 months so we have to get back to that and the quicker we can do that it will crude the benefit economically but also in terms of life quality for millions of Western New Yorkers and our Canadian neighbors," he said.