The U.S.-Canadian border has been open for just over three weeks now, and there are already some changes to the border protocol.

Don’t worry -- the border will stay open. These new changes only affect what kind of documents and testing you will need in order to cross the border.

As of November 30, a negative COVID-19 test alone will not be enough to admit you into Canada, whether that is by plane, ship, or train. This means that all travelers must be fully vaccinated before boarding and provide proof of that. 

Originally, there was a month-long transition period that allowed those who are not fully vaccinated to travel, so long as they can show a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel. 

Starting Tuesday at 3:01 a.m. EST, a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination

What does this mean for you as a traveler?

If you cannot prove your vaccination status, you will be unable to board any plane, train, or ship that is traveling to Canada, and there are very few exemptions to this rule. 

The only travelers that this new rule really affects are vaccinated Canadians. They are the only ones getting a pass from the molecular test requirement to cross the border into the United States.

As of now, vaccinated Americans will still need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter Canada -- regardless of whether the trip is for a week, a weekend, or a day. 

This is a relief for Canadian travelers, as it gives them a break from the $200 fee for a molecular test in order to cross the border to see friends, family, or shop from the United States economy. 

However, the trip must be shorter than 72 hours, and Canadian travelers must be able to prove that they have been away from Canada for 72 hours or less. 

Since the border officially opened to both sides for nonessential travel, the U.S. has not required proof of a negative COVID test for either Canadians or Americans who wish to cross the border; however, Canada has required the negative test result, though that will change Nov. 30 for Canadians only.

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