Canadians anxious to travel to the U.S.

Travellers wait for U.S. border to reopen in Sarnia (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

Parking lots in Sarnia and Point Edward were filled with Canadians waiting to cross the Blue Water Bridge at midnight.

As of November 8, the United States reopened its border to non-essential travel for the first time since March 2020. Anyone crossing over will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A digital or print copy of a vaccine certificate with a QR code or a vaccination record will be accepted.

Laura Klazinga from Kitchener stops to speak with Sarnia News Today at the Walmart plaza. The parking lot was overtaken with people waiting for the Blue Water Bridge to open to vaccinated Canadian travellers. November 7, 2021 Photo by Melanie Irwin.

Laura Klazinga from Kitchener stops to speak with Sarnia News Today at the Walmart plaza. The parking lot was overtaken with people waiting for the Blue Water Bridge to open to vaccinated Canadian travellers. November 7, 2021 Photo by Melanie Irwin.

Canada reopened its border to American travellers on August 9.

Over 40 RV’s were parked at Sarnia’s Walmart Plaza off Quinn Drive around 8 p.m. with a steady stream of camper trailers arriving.

Laura Klazinga from Kitchener said she was waiting to be able to visit her favourite U.S. chains for the first time in two years.

“I’m dying to go to Cracker Barrell and Hobby Lobby,” she said. “It’s calling my name.”

Vehicles had also overtaken the parking lot at Starlight Casino Point Edward and area hotels and motels.

“We just left from our hotel and it’s packed,” Klazinga added. “[The concierge] said most people are checking out at midnight tonight. So they’re making a start right at midnight, they’re not wasting any time.”

Travellers re-entering Canada will have to complete a PCR test within 72 hours of arriving at the border. They will also have to provide proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using the ArriveCan app. For trips of less than 72 hours, Canadians and those registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents and protected persons can take their PCR test before they leave the country.

-with files from Melanie Irwin