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No COVID-19 test required, but Canadians still need app for quick cross-border trips

Vancouver -

On the first day of new rules allowing Canadians to make cross-border trips that are less than 72 hours without producing a negative PCR test upon return, many British Columbians didn’t realize they need the Arrive Can app on their phone and have to fill out a trip itinerary and quarantine plan in order to drive back home.

British Columbians who arrived at Canadian border crossings without that app were sent back into the lineup to re-enter the United States. They were told to download the app and fill out the details in Blaine, before lining up to drive home again.

A frustrated American border guard told CTV News 95 per cent of the traffic he saw at his booth today was British Columbians who had no idea they needed that app, and had been denied entry by Canadian Border Services agents.

He said some motorists who made mistakes on the Arrive Can app had been turned back multiple times, and blamed the Canadian government for not communicating the app requirement to travellers.

Rainy weather kept the cross-border shopping rush to a minimum on Tuesday, but some British Columbians did drive south to pick up packages they had shipped to Blaine before the pandemic. The parcels had been stuck there since March 2020.

“It’s really picked up, this is the first time we have had people standing in line in two years almost. And it’s really good to get some of these packages off the shelf, we are really full,” said Doug Hornsby from Border Mailbox and Parcel.

There were many B.C. licence plates in the parking lot at Cost Cutters grocery store in Blaine, too.

“I’m very happy we don't have to take a test. I’m triple vaccinated now, I just had my booster, and I think that’s sufficient,” said Surrey resident Ross Foreman, who came to buy products that aren’t available in Canada.

Cheap American gas was another must-buy for British Columbians who made the trek south on Tuesday.

“Right now there is rationing in Canada. So I can fill my car up with gas and save my 30 litres for someone else in Canada who needs it who doesn’t have the ability to come back and forth, because I live really close to the border,” said Foreman.

“The lady I got the gas from, she has already noticed a difference of people starting to come back,” he said.

British Columbians who are looking to cross the border for gas and groceries should download the Arrive Can app before they leave for their trip, and make sure they have the QR code confirming they can re-enter Canada. Top Stories

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