Holiday travelers venturing north of the border

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. (WCAX) - It’s a big travel weekend as people celebrate the end of summer. Our Kelly O’Brien staked out the border to gauge the interest in international travel now that the border has been open for one-way travel for about a month.

“There is no restrictions right now so that’s why we are taking the opportunity to visit Montreal,” said Fabio Pino, a traveler from New Jersey. “This is our first trip since COVID-19 in a year-and-a-half or two years, so we are very excited to take this trip.”

Cars lined the four open lanes, including another carload from the Garden State. “Only 5.5 hours to this point,” said Pat Milone, who is headed to see loved ones on the other side. “Going to visit my mother-in-law. My wife’s father passed away in April so we’ve been up twice. We’re going to check on her for the weekend.”

In order to cross into Canada, visitors need to be fully vaccinated and upload the information on the ArriveCAN app.

You also need a negative PCR test 72 hours before arriving at the border. “Upload our vaccine -- which we are all fully vaccinated,” Milone said.

Sara Wunsch is a U.S. citizen living in Montreal. She’s on her way back home after a night in the Big Apple seeing a big performance. “Hadestown -- which reopened last night on Broadway, I’m very excited, I loved it,” she said.

Waiting for her in Quebec is a new vaccine passport system that went into effect this week. “I just have them scan it and it’s pretty simple,” Wunsch said. It’s a QR Code that was sent to Canadian citizens via text or email that works as a vaccine passport. It has proof of their vaccination status linked to the Quebec government. All vaccinated citizens need to show the QR code to get into non-essential places like gyms, bars, and theaters. “I Printed out the QR Code for mine, downloaded the app, took a picture of it and it has the system there.”

So far, four of the 10 Canadian provinces have required the QR codes. But the codes are only for Canadian citizens. Anyone traveling from outside the country is asked to provide proof of vaccination from their home country along with a photo ID.

While it’s a big travel weekend, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory against Canada, citing its high level of COVID cases.

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