DERBY LINE, Vermont — Canada lifted its prohibition on Americans crossing the border to shop, vacation or visit on Monday while the United States is maintaining similar restrictions for Canadians, part of a bumpy return to normalcy from COVID-19 travel bans.
U.S. citizens and legal residents must be both fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 within three days to get across one of the world’s longest and busiest land borders, and Canadian officials warn they won’t sacrifice safety for shorter border waits. Travelers also must fill out a detailed application on the arriveCAN app before crossing.
On the first morning that U.S. citizens were allowed to cross into Canada again, it was slow going in the tiny border town of Derby Line, Vermont, where long stretches passed without any cars headed into downtown Stanstead, Quebec.
In Buffalo, New York, Lisa and Jim Docherty got COVID-19 tests at a pharmacy for their first visit to their Ridgeway, Ontario, cottage since the summer of 2019. The Hilton, South Carolina couple, originally from Buffalo, has had the cottage more than 40 years.
Lisa Doherty said she looked forward to “just mentally making sure everything’s OK.
“It’s just been a part of my life because my grandma had a cottage since I was 10, so just kind of a feeling like returning to normal,” she said.
The pharmacy clinic was charging $140 for same-day tests and $125 for delivery of results in 24 to 48 hours.
“At this point, we’ll just do whatever we have to do,” Lisa Docherty said before heading in for a nasal swab.
By early afternoon, passenger cars were waiting more than an hour at the Rainbow Bridge to enter Niagara Falls, Ontario, from Niagara Falls, N.Y. There were no delays at two other western New York crossings, the Peace Bridge in Buffalo and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge in Lewiston.
In Washington state at the Peace Arch Border Crossing and Historical State Park, three lanes of vehicles with Washington state…