Border Questions & Answers

Well here is clarification on many of the questions we all had on the upcoming border opening. First a shorter explanation that I stole from someone else:

1. On August 9th, US citizens will be allowed to enter Canada. Those citizens will be allowed to return to the US at the end of their trip. RETURNING TO THE US… US Citizens will not be subject to quarantine or require a negative covid test. President Biden’s decision to extend the US border closure does NOT affect US Citizens going to Canada. It only affects Canadian citizens coming to the US (which is still bad). Your fishing trip is still on!

2. US citizens over the age of 11 must have proof of vaccination (your card will work) AND a negative MOLECULAR covid test. 11 and under must have a negative molecular covid test. The most common molecular covid test is the PCR test. You can usually get it for free, however, many have a 48 hour wait time. If you are confident, that you’re going to come back negative… you CAN provide digital proof. I personally was tested, and then headed north the next day. Since it is a two day drive, I received my results on the road. Showed them the digital proof, and had no problems crossing.

3. ArriveCan should be filled out on your smart phone or computer 72 hours prior to traveling to the border. This is to ensure that your information is uploaded, and it will create a smoother border crossing. If someone has forgotten (or can’t figure out the program), you can do this AT the border. Your crossing will go easier, and you won’t be holding up traffic, if you take the time to fill out the forms before hand.

4. There will be occasional “random” tests. These, from what I understand, will not be rapid tests. So, you will do the test at the border, but will then continue to your destination. From there, IF you test positive, you will be contacted. You then will need to enact your “quarantine plan”. Resorts are being encouraged to have a place designated, just in case a test comes back positive. From that point… you can either stay in quarantine, or return to the US. Canada will not detain you.

5. There is ZERO non-artificial bait allowed to cross from the US to Canada right now. (frozen, salted, dead, alive, minnows, leeches, worms, shrimp… nothing, zero, zilch)

6. Johnson&Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer are all approved vaccines for crossing into Canada. Astrazeneca is also approved by Canada, but was not approved in the US.

Now the longer version. Note there are links to other sites you might find useful:

FAQs About the Border
Q. Do travellers still require a negative COVID-19 test taken 72hr prior to entering Canada? Yes. All travellers must take a PCR (molecular) test with a negative result taken within 72hrs of crossing the border.
Q. What are the requirements for children under the age of 12? Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 travelling with fully vaccinated parents must meet all other required criteria to enter Canada, including submitting information electronically through ArriveCAN and all testing requirements (which includes the pre-arrival test).
Q. Do unvaccinated children between the ages of 13 and 18 need to quarantine? From what has been released to date it appears that non-vaccinated individuals between the age of 12 and 18 will need to quarantine for 14 days. We are still looking for specifics on this age gap.
Q. Will non-vaccinated or half-vaccinated Americans be permitted to enter Canada if they are able and willing to quarantine? Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for U.S. travellers who are not fully vaccinated and for all other foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act.
Q. Is there a fee attached to the ArriveCAN app? ArriveCAN is a free and secure app. The Government put out a statement warning people of scam apps pretending to be ArriveCAN asking for payment information. Click here for more information on the ArriveCAN app.
Q. What constitutes as a proper quarantine plan? The quarantine plan is mandatory for anyone entering Canada, regardless if they are fully vaccinated. Quarantine locations should be their vacation destination Guests who are randomly selected for a test and test positive can choose to do their quarantine at their quarantine location here in Canada OR they can leave to go home.
We suggest that operators (if possible) have a cabin reserved as a self-isolation location for the guest that tests positive.
Q. Are there any testing or quarantine requirements for Americans returning to the USA? As it currently stands, there are no testing or quarantine requirements for Americans returning to the US by land border crossing. There are testing requirements for Americans returning to the US via air. The COVID-19 situation is continuously evolving therefore this may change. We will update the industry if there are any changes.
Q. What are all the steps our US guests will need to take prior to entering Canada? Must have received the full series of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson)  Must have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day you enter Canada Upload information into the ArriveCAN app (this app is free and secure)   All information must be inputted into the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada.  The app will ask you to input contact information for you and the people you are travelling with, purpose of trip, date of arrival, port of entry, proof of vaccination, and your quarantine plan. For the quarantine plan, input the location where you will be staying while in Canada (i.e. the lodge).  Must have a negative COVID-19 molecular* test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (view accepted tests). Antigen tests are not accepted. Must be asymptomatic upon arrival  Upon arrival, the border officer will ask you for your ArriveCAN receipt, proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test results and other typical documentation. 
Q. What types of COVID-19 pre-arrival tests will be accepted by CBSA? These tests are considered acceptable molecular tests – antigen tests are not accepted*: PCR – Polymerase chain reaction RT-PCR – reverse transcription real time PCR Quantitative PCR (qPCR) Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs) Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) Isothermal amplification Droplet digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) RNA (Ribonucleic acid) Ct (cycle threshold) CRISPR Sequencing Next generational sequencing (NGS) or whole genome sequencing (WGS) Oxford Nanopore sequencing (LamPORE) Detection of the N gene Detection of Orf1a/b Detection of the S gene Detection of the E gene Detection of the RdRp gene
These tests use methods such as a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, nose swab, or saliva sample. At this time, proof of having a vaccine will not replace a negative test result. Here are links that NOTO members have shared with us that may help your guests find a testing site: Please make sure to advise your guests that antigen tests are not accepted.
Q. If someone had COVID-19 and have recovered, would that count as proof of immunity/vaccination? No. All individuals must be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination in order to enter Canada. Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for U.S. travellers who are not fully vaccinated and for all other foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act.

You can view all the details that the Canadian Government expects from fully-vaccinated travellers here. This page will be updated as we approach August 9th. You can also share with your guests the backgrounder which also highlights all the pre-entry requirements for fully vaccinated Americans that will come in effect on August 9th.

Please note that while the border personal are dealing with these changes they will not be allowing any type of bait, including night crawlers or salted minnows, into Canada. We assume this is temporary.

Additional information

From my guest Andy who will be one of the first to arrive at VBL on August 11. He has a few good suggestions:

Hi Gord,
I saw your info on border crossing. Assuming we cross successfully on the 11th I will be happy to post something about our experience on the blog.
In general, the information you copied is good. I have some additional thoughts after looking at most of this.
There are a couple of caveats with the ArriveCan App and the covid tests. When you download the app, the first thing it asks you to do is schedule your border crossing location, day, and time. However it only allows you to do that three days out. So go ahead and setup the app and then 72 hours before your arrival pick your arrival and then I am assuming, scan your vaccine card. 
Walgreens and CVS are the best options for the Covid test. It appears that Walgreens Rapid Diagnostic Test NAAT (ID Now) or the PCR will meet Canadian specs. The Rapid Antigen Test will not. The NAAT rapid test will supposedly yield results within 24 hours. The PCR test says result time varies which makes me nervous. Also you can only schedule the test three days out. The good news is it is free. 
At CVS, you need to answer the first question “yes” in order to get a free test. It reads, “Are you seeking a test to prevent possible spread of Cobid-19 for future travel, work, or recreation?”. Otherwise if you answer “no” to all the questions you have to pay $139. You need to select the molecular PCR/NAAT test. They say results are available in 1-2 days. At CVS you can schedule 13 days in advance. If there is a rush for tests this might be a preferred option, but the results might take longer.
My sister recently moved to Panama and they got tested at Walgreens 3 times and it took about 30 hours for results. All three times it was free.
For our Wednesday border arrival, I want to allow as much time for test results as possible but not be in danger of being more the 72 hours old. If I schedule for late Sunday afternoon with a border arrival time at noon on Wednesday I should be good. Monday morning would also likely work and would give a little cushion if there were car problems delaying our arrival to later then 72 hours. 
Regardless, when we leave Dick’s cabin early on Wednesday morning, there is an outside chance that we would still not have all our results, make the drive, and hope it arrives before noon. That would be stressful. For these reasons, I will likely go with the Walgreens test which should be ready in 24 hours. The Walgreens Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now) is listed as a Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and that appears to be acceptable. Of course there is no CVS or Walgreens in International Falls for a backup plan.
After the test results are reported online or via email, those would be scanned on the ArriveCan app to speed up processing time.
In sum, for your Guinea pigs arriving on the 11th (who will be in camp?), I would recommend: 1. Download and install the ArriveCan app now. 2. On Thursday or Friday (8-5 or 8-6), get on the Walgreens web site and schedule an appointment for the IDNow NAAT test for late Sunday (8-8) or Early Monday (8-9) depending on their arrival time at the border. The test has to be performed within 72 hours of arrival. If you don’t allow enough time for border arrival, your results will be too old. I will likely go with early Monday morning. That would give me some time to wait in International Falls if the results were late. 3. On Sunday (8-8) open the AccessCan app and enter your anticipated border arrival date, time, and location. 4. When you get your negative test results, scan and submit those on the AccessCan app. 5. The backup Covid Isolation Plan will be VBL Lodge info (mother-in-law cabin or the garden shed for Joe later that month)
Good luck to all your guests!

Also, from someone who has crossed the border earlier, the test must include: 1. person’s name and date of birth 2. name and civic address of lab 3. date the test was done 4. the test result ....

For those who still might have questions…here’s the phone number of the Fort Francis border crossing: 1-807-274-3655

9 thoughts on “Border Questions & Answers

    1. I asked someone at the Fort Francis border crossing (807-274-3655) and they confirmed that this has been in effect since last October.

  1. My ? Is about going to the NW Angle,MN.
    After getting there and then on return to Canada how are we suppose to get covid test(results) to enter Canada again?

  2. If we are entering Manitoba from Warroad,MN and are going through Manitoba to the Northwest Angle, MN, are we exempt from the Negative Covid test requirement?

  3. Has the flamingo flock survived ? I’d hate to arrive only to find out they were all dispatched by the virus. 🦩🦩🦩.


  4. Gord, there is a lot of bad information out there. For example, the NE Ontario travel info:

    This site claims a PCR test is required. That is incorrect. The official Canada travel site lists 19 acceptable tests and a PCR is just one. That list can be found at:

    Walgreens for example offers a PCR test, a rapid antigen test (not accepted), and the ID NOW test which is a molecular Nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) test. That is on the list of accepted tests and the tests are done on site rather then the PCR test which is sent to a lab. I called the Canadian Covid-19 Info line and confirmed that a NAAT test is acceptable (1-800-833-784-4397) They confirmed that it was. I was on hold for twenty minutes before I got an answer.

    This Friday we will be scheduling appointments for the ID Now test at Walgreens on Monday morning. We should have the results back Tuesday but they could be as late as Wednesday when we hope to cross the border. I will comment later on the experience. While this process takes some effort, it can be done. Folks might as well figure it out as it could easily be in place next year.

    Of course, things could change between now and our arrival on the 11th but I look forward to chasing fish that have been going to bed hungry.

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Thank you very much for making my get a way week so enjoyable. Dan and I had a great time. You and Susanne should be commended on how clean and well maintained your cabins and lodge are. I will recommend you to anyone that is looking to go to Canada fishing and I look forward to the time I can come back.

Jody Hansen

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