PLATTSBURGH – The first ever Reunion Day is underway in the north country.
With Canada’s pre-entry testing requirement for fully vaccinated people crossing the land border dropped Friday, casual travel between Canada and the United States is expected to become much easier.
This will essentially “reunite” the citizens from both countries who were separated the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But despite Canada’s testing requirement change, other requirements still remain for Americans and Canadians looking to cross the border.
Being fully vaccinated is one of those requirements, North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said at a chamber event Wednesday.
“From my understanding, fully vaccinated means they require the first two shots… but the booster is an addition, it’s not a requirement,” Douglas told the Plattsburgh Press-Republican. “Testing requirements are gone for the vaccinated. Also, quarantine requirements are still in effect for the unvaccinated. ”
At the event, Clinton County Legislator Richard S. Potiker, R-Schuyler Falls, called on both the United States and Canada to drop the vaccination requirement.
“On behalf of the Clinton County Legislature, I applaud this step toward a full reopening of the Canadian border. This is important and we need to see cross-border traffic, ”Potiker said. “I would like to join (Congresswoman) Elise Stefanik in calling on the United States and Canada to drop all remaining travel requirements for northern border travelers and to drop the vaccine mandates that continue to impede cross-border travel. The time has come to bring our communities back together. ”
Canada has also implemented the use of the ArriveCan app to make travel easier.
Proof of vaccination and other essential information can be uploaded by any person wanting to enter the country, Douglas said.
“Canada has implemented a new pre-recording process (ArriveCan) that is not strictly pandemic-related and is going to remain in place. All indications are it is here permanently, and we’ll just have to get used to it, ”he said during the event.
“Within 72 hours of when you plan to go to Canada, you need to go on that app, and say‘ OK, I’m planning to cross the border at Lacolle on Tuesday at approximately 10 am, ’and you just X some boxes , ”Douglas added. “It’s very simple, answer some other questions they ask you. You do that and then you’re set to go, and they have that when you arrive at the border. “