The US Border Fully Reopens Next Week & Here's What You'll Need To Spend On COVID-19 Tests

Even fully vaccinated Canadians will need to fork out for tests!👇💰

Trending Editor
The US Border Fully Reopens Next Week & Here's What You'll Need To Spend On COVID-19 Tests

If you're planning a trip when the U.S. border fully reopens on November 8, don't forget to include COVID-19 testing costs in your budget!

That's because fully vaccinated travellers are still required to take a COVID-19 test upon their return to Canada, as well as upon entry to the States if you're arriving via plane.

From Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians will be permitted to enter the U.S. for non-essential purposes, including travel, tourism and visiting friends and family.

While visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved course of vaccines, those crossing the land border from Canada will be allowed to enter without providing proof of a negative test.

The same won't apply to those flying into the United States though, as a negative test result is still required to board a plane. A cheaper rapid antigen test is accepted and they are available at pharmacies across Canada. In many cases, results are received in less than 20 minutes.

These can be picked up at Walmart for less than $20, at Shoppers Drug Mart for $40 and at pharmacies all over the country at different prices.

That's not too bad, is it?

It's not too bad. However, that's not all. Travellers returning home to Canada will have to fork out for another test too, regardless of whether they're coming back via land or air.

That's because Canada is not relaxing its entry requirements for travellers from November 8, meaning proof of a negative test is still required to get back. All discretionary travellers aged five and up must take a molecular test, like a PCR, which take longer to get results and typically cost more. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

This even applies to Canadian travellers stopping in the U.S. for a matter of hours, although they are able to take a pre-entry test in Canada before they leave.

Molecular COVID-19 tests are a little harder to come by and generally need to be scheduled in advance. They must be taken within 72 hours before a traveller's return and the turnaround time is usually between 24 and 48 hours.

If you're in the States, big chains like Walmart, Walgreens, RiteAid and CVS offer testing and some even have free services. However it's important to plan ahead, as not getting your results on time could mean being unable to return home as planned.

If you want to pre-purchase a PCR test in Canada to self-administer on your trip, expect to pay at least $100. Rexall Pharmacy sells a take-home test starting at $200, while Costco sells do-it-yourself PCR tests for $120.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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