Canadians factor COVID testing costs into shopping trips across U.S. border
Share Now on:
This holiday season is one of high hopes along the 49th parallel, home to the U.S. border with Canada.
A new policy of the Joe Biden administration allows vaccinated Canadians to visit by car and ferry for the first time since March 2020.
But while getting to the American side is easy, getting back to Canada is harder — and can be expensive.
Canadian Len Jarvis hasn’t been to the border town of Ogdensburg, New York, since the day before the border closed because of COVID.
A lot of things cost less on the U.S. side. So, now that he can make the border crossing, Jarvis came for holiday shopping and to hit the Price Chopper supermarket for food that’s hard to come by up north.
“Yogurts that are a little bit different here than there, especially the key lime,” he said, laughing. “Can’t get that [in Canada]. If there is, I don’t know where it’s at.”
It’s worth the cash he’s already spent on the COVID PCR test the Canadian government requires residents to take and show to return home.
“It is a deterrent,” Jarvis said. “I’m $248 poorer because of it.”
That’s money the American economy could use, said U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins of New York. Last year, Canadians’ car trips over the border fell off by more than 90%.
“We have lost two tourist seasons. This testing requirement needs to be dropped,” Higgins said.
He’s been pressuring the Canadian government to do just that.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.