Quebec COVID surge causing some to delay Canada getaway

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:51 PM EST
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CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. (WCAX) - With Quebec experiencing an unprecedented surge in COVID cases and many businesses shutting down, some travelers say they are holding off on their trips across the border.

After the Canadian land border reopened in August after a nearly 17-month closure, the border on Friday in Champlain, New York, was once again seeing only a trickle of traffic with mainly Canadian license plates.

With omicron surging and more than 712,000 cases in Quebec, many businesses are closed, schools have gone remote, and restaurants and bars are only open for takeout and delivery. Places of worship are also closed except for funerals and all public activities have been suspended.

“I don’t have a need or desire to go but I have friends -- more like family -- that have ties and they’re shaking their hands and wondering,” said Jeroline Wright from Rouses Point.

While some on the U.S. side of the border are in no rush to head north, others are itching to go. “I’m hoping eventually that will happen. We will see how it goes with this apparent surge that is going on,” said Jason Juneau of Rouses Point.

The community is also concerned that this closure could lead to fewer Canadians traveling south into the U.S. “I’m hoping they can start opening back up because they are a big part of our economy, especially this county and other border states,” Juneau said.

But they know the province is just trying to protect those who call it home. “We’re in uncharted waters. People can blame and find fault but we’re in uncharted waters. I really, truly believe that most people are doing everything they can to keep people safe. It becomes a personal thing after a while,” Wright said.

For those planning to cross into Canada, there are restrictions in place. Travelers must be fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival to the border, and have documentation uploaded to the ArriveCAN app.

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