Heading to Canada Monday? Here’s what you need to know


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When the clock strikes midnight and August 9 rolls over, fully vaccinated Americans will be able to cross the border into Canada. 

The day will mark the first time in nearly two years people will be able to visit Canada for non-essential travel. Before you reach the border however, there are some boxes you will be required to check.

First things first, you’re going to want to download the app ArriveCan. It’s completely free — and it’s going to keep all the info you need in one place. This includes proof of vaccination for COVID-19, as well as proof of a negative PCR test completed 72 hours before travel. The test result is still required if you’re vaccinated.

Triple A agent Elizabeth Carey says if you’re driving, prepare for the possibility of heavy traffic. The demand has been building up for nearly two years.

“The minute the clock strikes the ninth, when people can return again, we do expect traffic to be very busy,” Carey said. “Make sure you plan ahead for that too, you want to make sure you have enough gas to sit and wait. You don’t want a situation where you’d run out.”

Her advice to Americans who just want to get out and travel? Maybe wait for the dust to settle.

“To go see the falls, I suggest doing that from the American side and holding off for now,” Carey said. “There’s going to be so many people that really need to get over the border, the people that need to see loved ones and the people that need to check up on property there.”

Carey believes there’s no timeline on how long these protocols will be in place, it depends on how the pandemic and delta variant effect the country. The most important thing right now is being prepared

“The last thing you want is to get to the border, get held up in a line and you don’t even have the proper documentation and they send you back,” Carey said.

On Friday, the Peace Bridge in Buffalo saw major lines of traffic going into Canada. It’s because the union representing Customs officers could not reach a new contract with the Canadian government.

Issues have since been resolved, and traffic has returned to normal again.  Carey says even with the issues resolved, you’re still going to want to anticipate an uptick in traffic come Monday.

Failure to comply with requirements could lead to a hefty fine up to $750,000 dollars or even imprisonment – according to Canadian Government.

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