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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
This is intended to be a collector thread for information on camper van trips into Canada from the US.

I've summarized what I know just below -- if you have more info, or see any errors please post.

Getting Into CA:

Starting Aug 9, 2021 Canada will allow entry to Canada by air or land for fully vaccinated US people.
You don't have to be an "essential traveler" - vacations are OK.

You still have to get a Covid test within 72 hours of crossing the CA border. Not all tests are acceptable - the CA testing requirements are stated here:

Your vaccination has to have been completed at least 14 days before the trip.

While no quarantine is required for vaccinated people entering CA, you still have to have a quarantine plan. Not sure why? Do you have to have hotel reservations for the quarantine period?

You have to enter all your info into the ArriveCan app (available on cell phones or as a desktop app).
It appears you can't fill out the ArriveCan info until you are 72 hours or less before the trip.
This is a bit of a pain as you can't find out exactly what is required.
They require at least this: date of trip, CA name for border crossing station, passport info, vaccine info, covid test info?

Getting Back Into US:

The US has not changed its requirements for crossing the border.

My understanding is that you will be allowed back into the US, as US citizens returning to the US is considered "essential travel"
Its likely that you will be required to have a negative covid test within 72 hrs of crossing into the US.
Our current plan is to get this done in Calgary.

The US border crossing rules are up for review on Aug 21, so its possible that there will be changes to make this easier (or harder :)).

If you plan to enter CA from the lower 48 (say Montana) and go up through Alberta and the Yukon, and then to go on to Alaska, then you will be reentering the US at the Alaska border, and probably will need a test within 72 hours of this crossing. Then if you want to come back to the US via the Yukon and Alberta, then (I guess) you would need a covid test to get back into the Yukon and then another test to get back into the US -- Yikes!!
Unless they change this, we probably won't try to enter Alaska.

-----------------------------------------
We are probably going to give this a try in mid August.

If you have better or more data -- please post it

Gary
 

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Gary there seems to be conflicting info on getting a negative test 3 days in advance. Some sites say only random people at the border will get an "instant" test decided by the immigration officer other say a test under 3 days old is needed. I’ve also read you have to go the the Canadian customs site as you state (no link handy) and document your vaccine record electronically to be admitted.
I’m sure the first few days will produce immense traffic jams until this all gets documented.
If you’re a US citizen no problem getting back in - don’t need nuttin’ but your PP/ID
 

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Our daughter and family from CT are visiting us right now. Navigating the Canadian process as non-resident Canadians has been a gong show for them. Be prepared for bureaucratic chaos. We've been thinking about going down into the States this fall. But given cross-border chaos and threats of more lockdowns, we've decided to postpone that for a while longer. No shortage of things to see and do up here.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,
Well we made it up to Canada - not too much of a hassle.

Downloaded the ArriveCan app for my phone and filled out all the stuff they wanted. Pictures of vaccine cards and passports etc.
When and where you plan to cross the border.
Have to get covid PCR test (expensive) within 72 hours of when you plan to cross and have something that shows the results - we just printed out the MyChart page for the test result, but it can also be an online result on your phone.
ArriveCan looks over all the stuff you put in and gives you a code to show when you do the border crossing.

We had paper copies of everything for the border and that seemed to work well.
There were only 2 cars ahead of us at the border, and while each car takes longer with more stuff to check, we were through in about 20 minutes total.

On our way up to Dawson City and the Dempster now.

Will have to get a test on the way back down to enter the US -- this can be the cheaper Anitgen test. Planning to get this at the Calgary airport.

The Aug 9 opening of the border for vaccinated people does not seem to have resulted in much vacation traffic across the border. Its pretty quiet.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Just to finish this out, we crossed back into US today after getting covid test at Calgary airport. Test process kind of inefficient - 2hrs.
Zero wait at border - we were only car, and turns out we could have skipped the covid test. Some sites say you need test to re-enter US, so best to check.
Border guy very nice-seemed more interested in getting biscuit for dog than trip questions.
If you go up, be prepared to wear a mask in all public places. Mask wearing near 100 percent, which is great.

edit: just to add one interesting fact. We stopped at Johnson Crossing on the way up to Dempster. This is a pretty high volume lodging, restaurant, gift shop etc. I asked if he had seen much US traffic since Aug 9th, and he said they had been keeping count, and it was only 22 customers from US -- pretty small.

Gary
 

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I just saw several friends who crossed back and forth from Detroit to Niagara Falls on the Canadian "short cut" last weekend. Other than the Canadian app and proof of vax all they needed to enter Canada was a negative Covid test under 72 hrs old that is free (if you have insurance) at Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, etc). They also said the border was extremely quite when they crossed other than truck traffic. They also said nothing required upon re-entering the USA other than their passports.
 

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Just to finish this out, we crossed back into US today after getting covid test at Calgary airport. Test process kind of inefficient - 2hrs.
Zero wait at border - we were only car, and turns out we could have skipped the covid test. Some sites say you need test to re-enter US, so best to check.
Border guy very nice-seemed more interested in getting biscuit for dog than trip questions.
If you go up, be prepared to wear a mask in all public places. Mask wearing near 100 percent, which is great.

Gary
Thanks @GaryBIS as it is nice to get these reports.

The masks & other Covid requirements change from Province to Province. In BC yesterday we have started the “BC Vaccine Passport” for certain things like dinning in restaurants etc.


In BC last week “All Covid ICU Patients under 50 were Unvaccinated”.


Further the Unvaccinated ICU Covid patients make up 93% of all Covid ICU patients in BC. Almost all the “Delta” variant.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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IIRC a US legal resident returning by sea or land doesn't need a test. By air, then yes. Why, don't know.
Ref. CBP
 

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We drove our Promaster to Canada for a campervan upfit a couple weeks ago. Got RT-PCR tests before leaving home (US) and entered Canada at Blue Water Bridge / Sarnia. Took only a couple minutes at Border Services since all our info was already in the ArriveCan app. Got antigen testing in Canada (about $60 each) for our flights back to the US.

The empty van had been sitting in our garage for almost 9 months waiting for the border to reopen. Covid definitely threw a monkey wrench into our plans!
 

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Thank you SO much for starting this Discussion! You have given me more info here than I have been able to glean for the last three months elsewhere on the US govt sites! I am actually a dual citizen CA/US waiting on the US side to open before returning to the States to return to my house which has been sitting ever since this all came down a year and a half ago. I am several hours from the border and do not want to risk driving 6 hours or more just to be turned away. Two years ago (before COVID) the last time I crossed I was forced by the border official to CHOOSE my allegiance in spite of full documentation that I was dual. If I am Canadian, the US border is still closed to me. If I am US, I can pass. Unless I fly in which case it doesn't matter. I really hope crossing again will be as smooth as those returning to the US say it is.
Thank you for giving me some hope.
K9 Cargo
 

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I am actually a dual citizen CA/US ... Two years ago (before COVID) the last time I crossed I was forced by the border official to CHOOSE my allegiance in spite of full documentation that I was dual.
Yikes, that was nasty and intimidating. As duals living in Canada for the past 30 years, we've learned crossings go much smoother if you don't volunteer information they haven't ask for, including being duals. You are not required to declare dual citizenship at border crossings; there is no benefit to doing so either. They much prefer you only show your US passport when entering the US, and your Cdn passport when entering Canada.
 

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Thank you for your reply and that is the way I normally do it (dual for 25 years) but they often DO ask. It is pretty obvious from my passport stating my place of birth is the US and all my registration CDN that I am probably dual without saying anything.
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I plan on doing this in a couple of weeks so I appreciate the info shared and I'll report back on my trip.

I did some research on PCR tests and they are free with or without insurance at Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS and a couple of other locations in New York State. Here's the official list, by state, of where you can get free tests: Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19

According to a guy on the local reddit who crossed a couple of weeks ago, you can't count on 72 hour turn-around from a free test. He didn't get his results in time, so he got a test at the border (Niagara Falls) for over $200 when his PCR didn't come back in time, but for that price, he got a 15 minute turnaround.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I plan on doing this in a couple of weeks so I appreciate the info shared and I'll report back on my trip.

I did some research on PCR tests and they are free with or without insurance at Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS and a couple of other locations in New York State. Here's the official list, by state, of where you can get free tests: Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19

According to a guy on the local reddit who crossed a couple of weeks ago, you can't count on 72 hour turn-around from a free test. He didn't get his results in time, so he got a test at the border (Niagara Falls) for over $200 when his PCR didn't come back in time, but for that price, he got a 15 minute turnaround.
Hi,
That's interesting that apparently some places offer free PCR tests. I looked all over the Bozeman, MT area where we are, and best I could find was $150 each, which is what we ended up doing. I'd like to hear anything you can report on how the PCR tests goes and where you got it. I will check with our local CVS and see if they are doing the free test.

We believed that you had to get to the border within 72 hours of when the test was done, but we were told at one place that you have 72 hours from when you get the results. I'm not at all sure that this is correct, but might be worth checking into. The source for this was the Dawson City Visitor Center, but they admitted that they were not certain.

Our test results were guaranteed to be back within 48 hours, but actually came back in about 6 hours.

Gary
 

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Hi,
That's interesting that apparently some places offer free PCR tests. I looked all over the Bozeman, MT area where we are, and best I could find was $150 each, which is what we ended up doing. I'd like to hear anything you can report on how the PCR tests goes and where you got it. I will check with our local CVS and see if they are doing the free test.
If you scroll down on that link ( Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19 ) it looks like Montana only has Walgreens participating in the program. I'm surprised there isn't one in Bozeman -- we have one on almost every corner in New York. There are also some health centers where you can get tested, that are linked from that page.
 

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