Canada lifting Covid border rules, local tourism officials expect dramatic change

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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COLLINS LANDING, New York (WWNY) - Load up the car and head across the bridge. It will soon be that simple again to visit Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to allow COVID-19 vaccination requirements at the border to expire at the end of September. That’s according to two senior government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The government is still deciding whether to maintain a requirement for passengers to wear face masks on trains and airplanes.

The Canadian government is reportedly making the pre-clearance ArriveCAN app optional.

One north country tourism official expects a dramatic effect. He says cross-border traffic at near Alexandria Bay is still down more than 20 percent compared to 2019.

“By getting rid of another one of these restrictive steps to crossing the border, that gets us a lot closer to where we used to be, pre-pandemic outbreak. This allows people to make that trip to Canada or the United States for dinner, for some easy shopping, without having to fill out an app, without having to prove a vaccination status. This gets us a lot closer to what we used to know as normal, compared to where we are now,” said Corey Fram, 1000 Islands Tourism Council.

Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on whether the U.S. will follow suit by dropping the vaccination requirement on travelers entering this country.