Local businesses look forward to revised Canadian border crossing requirements

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local businesses are gearing up for a change at the border with Canada. Officials for our northern neighbor plan to make things easier for Canadians traveling to the United States.

Canadian officials plan to announce very soon, those Canadians who are fully vaccinated and come into the United States for less than 72 hours will no longer be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before returning, although Americans will still need a test to get into Canada.

What can Canadians do in less than 72 hours? They can do to sporting events here and watch the Sabres or take in a Bills game. They can also return to the stores and shops, like the Walden Galleria.

Officials cut the ribbon for a new pop-up shop at the Galleria, a one-stop-shop for COVID tests and vaccinations.

“We are now vaccinating children age 5 to 11 with the Pfizer pediatric dose. We are seeing a lot of seniors and other people in the community coming in for their third dose of Pfizer, third dose of Moderna, second dose of J&J,” said Don Arthur, Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy.

Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy is operating the pop-up shop with KSL Diagnostics. The pharmacy is dispensing the COVID-19 shots, KSL runs a lab for the COVID tests convenient for shoppers from both sides of the border.

“We have already seen quite a few people come through. Also, the Galleria reached out to us and indicated they want to see everything re-opened safely and make it as convenient as possible to cross-border shoppers,” said Kevin Lawson, KSL Diagnostics.

The opening of the pop-up comes at a critical time when positive tests are threatening to turn the clock back on the local economy, with the holidays just around the corner.

“We don’t want to go backwards, we don’t want to see another shutdown. We want to figure out how do we continue to move forward here, and having accessibility to testing, having accessibility to the vaccine will hopefully keep us going strong,” said A.J. Baynes, Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

For those shoppers anticipating a trip across the border if you are fully vaccinated, you can get tested, and check off your holiday gift list. But Canadian officials are suggesting they also plan to drop the testing mandate for Americans, a little later.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

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