Vehicles approaching the Blue Water Bridge into Michigan at 12 a.m. Monday, Nov 8. 2021. Vehicles approaching the Blue Water Bridge into Michigan at 12 a.m. Monday, Nov 8. 2021.

U.S. land border reopens to Canadians after a long 19 months

The Canada-U.S. land border has reopened for fully vaccinated Canadians to enter the states for non-essential purposes.

Due to the COVID pandemic, it's the first time in 19 months that we're allowed to go shopping or eat south of the border.

With the change, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is offering some tips for travellers in order to make their trip faster and more convenient.

CBSA Acting Director for the Southern Ontario Region Michael Prosia said Canadian citizens and permanent residents will have to complete a negative PCR test to reenter Canada.

For trips of less than 72 hours, residents can take their PCR test before they leave the country.

"If they do not provide proof of a valid molecular test then they'll still be allowed entry to Canada, these individuals enter the country by right, but they may face a fine of up to $5,000 plus surcharges or be subject to criminal prosecution," said Prosia.  "The CBSA refers these types of travellers to our colleagues at the Public Health Agency of Canada. It's actually their responsibility to make the determination whether there's any enforcement or fines levied against the traveller."

Prosia said travellers will also have to provide proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using the ArriveCan app on their smartphone.

He said the border crossings will likely be busier than normal but he's confident that staffing levels are adequate.

"We are anticipating some increased volumes, especially on Monday," he said. "That's consistent with what we saw when the Canadian border measures were eased to fully vaccinated travellers back in the summer. We're prepared for that, we've developed operational plans to make sure we have the resources available."

Those with mixed COVID vaccine doses will be permitted.

Canada reopened its border to American travellers on August 9.

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