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What Snowbird Travelers Need to Know About the US Reopening its Borders



December 9, 2021

snow canadaSnowbird Travel and Insurance: Get the Facts Before Heading South

Canadian snowbirds are thrilled that the United States has reopened its land borders to Canadians. But don’t get too excited just yet; there are a number of things Canadians need to know about international land travel this season. So, if you are looking to explore the United States, visit family, or just want to indulge in some cross-border shopping, read these facts that every snowbird traveler should know before crossing the border.

Understanding the implications of traveling during the pandemic is paramount, as there are several risks and potential complications that could have snowbirds flying back home quickly. Before you leave, find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to snowbird travel, including crossing land borders into the United States.

resortThe Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions for Snowbird Travel to the United States

The top questions answered every snowbird traveler should know before heading south this winter.

Do I Need to Be Vaccinated to Enter the United States By Land?

Yes. In November, the United States opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers arriving from Canada. Points of entry include both land and ferry options and for non-essential reasons such as tourism and sightseeing.

What Documentation is Required for Entering the United States by Land?

Those crossing into the United States by land will not have to provide a negative COVID test; however, they will be asked about their vaccination status. Border officials for the United States will randomly request documentation to prove vaccination.

Will I Be Denied Entry into the United States if I Can’t Provide Proof of Vaccination?

Yes.

Do Snowbirds Need to Provide a Negative Test When Entering by Land?

Currently, only travelers entering the United States by air are required to provide a negative viral test, often called a NAAT or antigen test.

How Long Is the Wait at the US-Canada Land Border Crossing?

Certain land border crossings have a wait time of more than two hours. Snowbirds should plan for delays when crossing into the United States.

What Is Required for Returning to Canada by Land?

Canadians returning home must provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving at the border crossing. Canada only accepts molecular testing, which is often called a PCR test.

Where Can I Buy a PCR Test?

Canadians can purchase a PCR test from local pharmacies in either Canada or the United States, and in some cases can cost around $200.

What Happens If I Do Not Provide a PCR Test Upon Returning to Canada?

Entering Canada without a proper PCR test can result in a fine of $5,000.

Do I Need to Quarantine Upon Returning from the United States.

Travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine upon arrival. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 cannot attend school or daycare for 14 days after arrival.

How Do I Provide Documentation to Border Officials When Returning to Canada?

Snowbirds must upload all requested documentation to the ArriveCan app provided by the Government of Canada. Failure to do so could result in being denied entry to Canada.

airportSnowbird Travel Simplified with CAP, Powered by FocusPoint

Snowbird travel to the United States remains a complicated matter, especially for shorter trips. Restrictions and other COVID-related complications can arise in a matter of minutes, leaving vacationers scrambling to satisfy the request of border officials. Plan for absolutely anything when heading down south, and seek out products that can help you manage each step of traveling between Canada and the United States.

FocusPoint International’s CAP Travel Medical and Security Assistance Plan comes with a robust mobile app that includes destination-based health, safety, and security intelligence, COVID-19 specific information, a one-touch assistance button, and much, much more.

The CAP Plan offers unlimited 24/7 advice for a long list of travel mishaps often overlooked by traditional travel insurance, including COVID quarantine cost coverage, COVID medical evacuations back to Canada and return of vehicles for no additional costs. It also provides a fully-funded response to incidents of riots, strikes, and civil commotion, natural disasters, with medical evacuation to a home hospital of choice, should you suffer from a medical mishap resulting in hospitalization.

Contact us directly to learn more about available offerings that speak to the needs of snowbirds this winter travel season.