BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The United States is prepared to open the northern border to vaccinated Canadian travelers beginning November 8, but questions remain about CDC policies and how it will affect the ability for these travelers to cross.
In a letter to the CDC, Congressman Brian Higgins wants answers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the confusion, saying four million Canadians have received mixed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those travelers would be unable to cross because CDC policy requires full vaccination, which is currently defined as a completed series of either Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson.
“I am cautiously optimistic that they will follow that or provide that as guidance as it relates to Canadians who have received a mix of vaccines allowing them to come into the United States,” Higgins said. “I think (the opening date) should have been four months ago. Better late than never. I don’t know why we have to wait this long given the fact this issue has been on the table for several months. The preparation for the inevitability that the border was going to be open should have been much sooner.”
Many Canadians have mixed doses – a combination of Pfizer and Moderna – for their completed series. This was the case due to supply issues in the country.
“We do know that proof of vaccination could be required when crossing the border,” Immigration attorney Rosanna Berardi said. “Chuck Schumer’s office said that he had received information it would only be absolute proof required if you were pulled into secondary (inspection)…We don’t know if there will be an app yet. I don’t think there will be.”
There are still questions on whether Canadian travelers will need a negative test to re-enter the country. The Biden Administration has not publicly released the policy.