(WIVB) — Canada is ready to relax the testing rule for its own citizens returning home when they visit the U.S.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with American politicians about this decision during a meeting in Washington Wednesday.
Congressman Brian Higgins was among those Trudeau met with. He says the meeting went well, but more work must be done to make things easier to travel between the borders.
“This needs to be over. The testing mandate is unpleasant, it’s inconvenient, it’s costly and, more importantly, for the fully vaccinated it’s unnecessary,” Higgins said.
Canadian officials are expected to announce new plans for the border by the end of this week, and that changes to the testing requirement will come in phases. The first phase would eliminate the mandate for Canadian citizens.
“Over the course of the last 20 months, we’ve lost probably nearly a billion dollars in total economic impact from the loss of Canadian travelers, so this truly gets rid of a big barrier,” said Visit Buffalo Niagara President Patrick Kaler.
At this point, Trudeau as not announced when Canada will ease the testing requirement for Americans crossing the Northern border.
“Both the United States and Canada – Western New York and Southern Ontario – benefit because our economies are deeply integrated. Our life qualities are deeply integrated,” Higgins said. “I will be satisfied when we get back to a sense of normalcy, when we have a consistent policy, when we have both the United States and Canada speaking with one voice.”