Canadian border to open in November

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joelkfla

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This just in from the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico starting in November for fully vaccinated travelers, reopening the door of the United States to tourists and separated families that had been sealed from the country during the pandemic.​
Those who provide proof of vaccination and are looking to visit families or friends or shop in the United States will be allowed to enter next month, senior administration officials said, just weeks after President Biden lifted a similar sweeping ban on foreigners looking to travel to the country from overseas.​
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Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be barred from crossing the borders with Mexico or Canada.​
 

NS VIA Fan

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A least a first step to the return of Amtrak!!......but probably at least a couple of months away before crews are requalified etc.

Also the logistic of verifying vaccine status/negative test at origin so someone is not denied entry at the border and no train back until the next day. For example.....would the conductor do this for someone boarding at an unstaffed station?
 
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neroden

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They already have procedures for removing people who aren't admitted at the border on all three routes, so I don't suppose it'll change much.
 

zephyr17

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Canada's requirements are stiffer, requiring a negative PCR test and a "quarantine plan" (don't have to do it if admitted as vaccinated, but have to have a plan in order to be admitted). Thr US apparently will just require proof of vaccination for land crossings for non-citizens

Amtrak conductors were already checking documents (passport/NEXUS/EDL, etc) before COVID. I imagine they'll be checking proof of vaccination as well.

I have ridden all the cross border services, and here is how I see it playing out. Note this is speculation.

Cascades Northbound:
Canadian citizens/permanent residents: Just check passports and/or PR docs, everything else is CBSA's problem.
Non Canadians: Check ArriveCan result/receipt for Canadian clearance. Inspect Passport and vax docs. Non-compliant passengers put off at Bellingham. That is no different from prior practice, except more docs to check.

Cascades southbound. All doc inspection/admittance done by US CBP at Vancouver as it had been.

Maple Leaf north(west)bound:
Same as Cascades. Non complying non-Canadians put off at or before Niagara Falls, NY. If boarding at New York or Albany, denied boarding.

Maple Leaf south(east)bound:
VIA Service Manager checks documents, as is done now. Just more docs. Non-complying non-Americsns put off at or before Niagara Falls, ON. If boarding at Toronto, denied boarding.

Adirondack northbound:
Same as Cascades. Non-complying passengers put off at or before Rouse's Point. If boarding at New York or Albany, denied boarding.

Adirondack southbound:
Non-complying passengers denied boarding at Montreal or St. Lambert. Possibly just cease stopping at St. Lambert.

So pretty much same process as pre-COVID. Just have another doc to check, and possibly ArriveCan result/status.
 
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jiml

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What's been lost in the glowing media reporting of this is that it is actually another extension of the current closure, set to expire on October 21. It is also unclear whether US-bound land travel will require a negative test in addition to vaccination, as is the case with flying.
 

zephyr17

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What's been lost in the glowing media reporting of this is that it is actually another extension of the current closure, set to expire on October 21. It is also unclear whether US-bound land travel will require a negative test in addition to vaccination, as is the case with flying.
Seattle Times (actually Associated Press) reports no testing requirements for land crossings.

"Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the U.S., no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, provided the travelers meet the vaccination requirement."

 

jiml

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Seattle Times (actually Associated Press) reports no testing requirements for land crossings.

"Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the U.S., no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, provided the travelers meet the vaccination requirement."

That's good news! Reports here were uncertain.
 

jiml

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zephyr17

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This sounds like good news for many. VIA's flexible booking option looked like a great incentive to travel, especially since the CBSA's border dragons can be unpredictably disruptive even without a pandemic to fall back on, but it looks like that option ends on November 15th 2021. Hopefully they'll extend it further.
 

jiml

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Unlike Australia, where if an Aussie leaves they might not be allowed back in if their travel was non-essential, this is merely advisory.

I don't imagine this advice will lessen the lure of cheap(er) gas in Blaine.
What it does though (mostly for longer trips) is void travel insurance - everything from heath, to baggage loss and trip interruption. Most policies (including ours) contain a clause that states that coverage is not available if a government travel advisory is in place.
 

zephyr17

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In a related note, it seems the Cascades are not currently bookable. I was able to book EVR-VAC a couple months ago for my Canadian trip in March. I delayed booking the return until what the US policies would be with a more open land border became clearer. I wanted to allow time for testing if that became a requirement.

With today's announcement, I went in to book a return. Now the Cascades are gone, with only a bus to and from Seattle without an Everett stop. My reservation on 516 is still there, though, although I would not have been able to book that today.

Optimistic interpretation, they withdrew the schedule temporarily favor of a more solid resumption plan. I always knew that the presence of the Cascades from January 2022 on in Arrow wasn't based on much of anything.

Any thoughts, @Triley?
 
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Chatter163

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The NHL regular season begins tonight, and teams are back to playing everyone, not just their divisions, so teams will be crossing the border regularly.
 

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The NHL regular season begins tonight, and teams are back to playing everyone, not just their divisions, so teams will be crossing the border regularly.
The NBA regular season starts next week but I believe they received special travel permission above and beyond anything average folks can expect.
 

SubwayNut

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The Toronto Blue Jays were allowed (after starting their season at their Spring Training facility in Florida), then moving to Buffalo in June and July (where their triple A farm team plays, in a stadium that was built with the intention of wooing a major league Team), before getting special permission to return home to Toronto at the end of July.

The border has reopened to sports teams
 

Triley

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In a related note, it seems the Cascades are not currently bookable. I was able to book EVR-VAC a couple months ago for my Canadian trip in March. I delayed booking the return until what the US policies would be with a more open land border became clearer. I wanted to allow time for testing if that became a requirement.

With today's announcement, I went in to book a return. Now the Cascades are gone, with only a bus to and from Seattle without an Everett stop. My reservation on 516 is still there, though, although I would not have been able to book that today.

Optimistic interpretation, they withdrew the schedule temporarily favor of a more solid resumption plan. I always knew that the presence of the Cascades from January 2022 on in Arrow weren't based on much of anything.

Any thoughts, @Triley?
Believe me, I’m all over the situation. I have no updates yet though. At this point we don’t have the equipment for it, until either the Jefferson gets back on the road, or we get more equipment (whether Horizons or Superliner). Staffing is also a minor concern as well.

However, WSDOT is extremely anxious to get service back to Canada. I’m not sure why the trains were removed from Arrow, but you know I’ll be looking to find out why.
 
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