Border warning for Canadian sports fans planning to watch games in U.S.
VANCOUVER -- Canadian sports fans hoping to catch a Seattle Seahawks or Seattle Kraken game are being advised to plan their trips across the border carefully, or they could face a nasty surprise on their return to Canada.
The U.S. will reopen its land border crossings to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov. 8.
American border agents do not require proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but the story is entirely different returning to Canada, where a negative test is required.
That test can’t be a rapid antigen test, and it can’t be more than 72 hours old.
“I’ve been told they literally look down to the minute, and if anyone is more than 72 hours, that’s it,” said U.S. immigration lawyer Len Saunders.
That’s why Seahawks season ticket holder Aneesh Kumar admitted he may not go to any games this season, because it’s too risky and expensive.
For shorter trips, Canadian are allowed to get a test at home before crossing the border, but need to plan carefully. They need to leave themselves enough time to make it to their U.S. destination and back before the 72-hour test limit expires.
Testing for travel in B.C. is expensive, ranging from just under $200 to nearly $400 at some clinics.
“At the end of the day, $200 is not something I’m really interested in spending for testing,” said Kumar, who is fully vaccinated.
In fact, Kumar said he may give his tickets away.
Travellers who don’t make it to the border on time are required to take another test in the United States.
“I’ve heard of clients who are racing up the I-5 to the Canadian border worried about traffic,” said Saunders.
Already, many clinics near the border say they are fully booked some days, and test results are sometimes taking up to 48 hours due to the increased volume.