Monday , May 16 2022

The US border town welcomes fully vaccinated BC visitors, but obstacles remain


Companies in northern Washington state receive Canadian customers once the United States reopens its land borders, but a BC mayor says travelers may face obstacles.

The United States allows fully vaccinated travelers from Canada to enter the United States by plane, land and ferry for non-essential travel as of November 8th.

Those entering the United States at a land border must show vaccination evidence against COVID-19 or prove their vaccination status at the request of a border officer. Ground passengers do not need to show a negative test of COVID-19, a requirement for air travelers.

Karen Frisbie, president of the Chamber of Commerce in Oroville, Washington, a city of more than 19,000 residents on the border with Osoyoos, south of Okanagan, BC, says her community has been quiet without Canadians traveling south to buy during the pandemic.

“We definitely miss our Canadian neighbors and look forward to returning them,” Frisbie said Friday to host Chris Walker on CBC Alba sud.

Many border towns in Washington state fought because of COVID-19 restrictions that prevented Canadians from crossing the border. The city of Blaine, for example, said last August that its finances were hit hard after several months without Canadian visitors.

Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff says she can feel the happiness of Canadians who know they will be able to visit Oroville.

“A lot of people in Osoyoos like to go to Oroville – they have their special places [and] restaurants [in Oroville], and they love to go get American milk, cheese and beer and sometimes gasoline, ”McKortoff said. Alba sud.

But the mayor also makes a cautious note.

“You still need a PCR test to go back to Canada,” he said, referring to a type of molecular test. Molecular testing of COVID-19 includes methods such as a nasal swab or providing a saliva sample.

“You won’t be down for a day and [you] you have to worry about doing a PCR test to get back across the border. “

Canada still requires arriving passengers to submit a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of their entry into Canada, regardless of their point of entry, but laboratories could take more than 72 hours to issue the test result.

“We have to wait until all of these things have been resolved a little better before people have a chance to get through,” McKortoff said.

LISTENING Karen Frisbie and Sue McKortoff share their hopes and concerns about reopening the U.S. border to Canadians:

Alba sud5:24What would it mean to open the U.S. border to Canadians for border communities? Let’s go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to learn more about the impacts on these cities.

What would it mean to open the U.S. border to Canadians for border communities? Let’s go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on these cities. 5:24

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