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Author Topic: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans  (Read 33093 times)

Rothman

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #300 on: November 16, 2021, 08:01:31 AM »

It might vary by state, testing site, and insurance.  Now, what I've heard was third-hand, but the person was saying that the charge was specifically because the test was for travel to Canada.  Presumably tests for other reasons were still free.

This sounds like this testing provider was charging a fee to expedite it. I.e. getting the test is free, guaranteeing you'll have results in time to go to Canada with them is not.

Medically necessary testing is generally available at no out-of-pocket expense to the person being tested.  (They're usually still paying, through some combination of health insurance premiums or tax dollars.)

Testing for travel, however, is not medically necessary.   It's supposed to be paid for by the traveler, but it seems like many places aren't currently bothering to make that distinction (or they realize that a high percentage of travelers will just lie to get the "free" test).
*citation needed*
https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/medically-necessary-gray-area-complicates-covid-test-coverage/article_bd0b31a8-72ec-5759-9198-e67624223d04.html
*citation still needed*

That article shows that there is confusion in NH, which one provider is taking advantage of.  As the article goes on to explain, pretty much every test should be considered "medically necessary"...as they evidently are in nearby NY...
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #301 on: November 16, 2021, 08:11:19 AM »

Testing for travel, however, is not medically necessary.   It's supposed to be paid for by the traveler, but it seems like many places aren't currently bothering to make that distinction (or they realize that a high percentage of travelers will just lie to get the "free" test).
*citation needed*

My username, indicating my profession, should be sufficient.  :)
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #302 on: November 16, 2021, 09:04:03 AM »

The tests are not free.  They are costing someone somewhere down the road.
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kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #303 on: November 16, 2021, 09:37:24 AM »

It might vary by state, testing site, and insurance.  Now, what I've heard was third-hand, but the person was saying that the charge was specifically because the test was for travel to Canada.  Presumably tests for other reasons were still free.

This sounds like this testing provider was charging a fee to expedite it. I.e. getting the test is free, guaranteeing you'll have results in time to go to Canada with them is not.

Medically necessary testing is generally available at no out-of-pocket expense to the person being tested.  (They're usually still paying, through some combination of health insurance premiums or tax dollars.)

Testing for travel, however, is not medically necessary.   It's supposed to be paid for by the traveler, but it seems like many places aren't currently bothering to make that distinction (or they realize that a high percentage of travelers will just lie to get the "free" test).
*citation needed*
https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/medically-necessary-gray-area-complicates-covid-test-coverage/article_bd0b31a8-72ec-5759-9198-e67624223d04.html
*citation still needed*

That article shows that there is confusion in NH, which one provider is taking advantage of.  As the article goes on to explain, pretty much every test should be considered "medically necessary"...as they evidently are in nearby NY...
I would say that article shows policy and regulations inconsistency. You may argue whatever you want - but what if you get a bill in the mail? And what if it goes to collectors?
And what if you need to take a trip on a short notice? Walk-in fast testing in JFK (which is in NY!) is $250. 

So it is not that simple.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #304 on: November 16, 2021, 11:20:12 AM »

That article shows that there is confusion in NH, which one provider is taking advantage of.  As the article goes on to explain, pretty much every test should be considered "medically necessary"...as they evidently are in nearby NY...

Technically the article is pointing out that as a matter of public policy the powers that be are pressuring providers to not enforce the medical necessity point when it comes to paying for testing.

However, this will probably change, as we continue to shift from "global public health emergency" to "living with an endemic disease".

Testing for travel is not medically necessary testing (with the exception of travel that is itself medically necessary).  Medical insurance is not intended to cover business or recreational travel expenses.
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kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #305 on: November 16, 2021, 11:26:37 AM »

That article shows that there is confusion in NH, which one provider is taking advantage of.  As the article goes on to explain, pretty much every test should be considered "medically necessary"...as they evidently are in nearby NY...

Technically the article is pointing out that as a matter of public policy the powers that be are pressuring providers to not enforce the medical necessity point when it comes to paying for testing.

However, this will probably change, as we continue to shift from "global public health emergency" to "living with an endemic disease".

Testing for travel is not medically necessary testing (with the exception of travel that is itself medically necessary).  Medical insurance is not intended to cover business or recreational travel expenses.
I thought covid expenses are reimbursed to insurers by federal government? 
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #306 on: November 16, 2021, 12:04:13 PM »

That article shows that there is confusion in NH, which one provider is taking advantage of.  As the article goes on to explain, pretty much every test should be considered "medically necessary"...as they evidently are in nearby NY...

Technically the article is pointing out that as a matter of public policy the powers that be are pressuring providers to not enforce the medical necessity point when it comes to paying for testing.

However, this will probably change, as we continue to shift from "global public health emergency" to "living with an endemic disease".

Testing for travel is not medically necessary testing (with the exception of travel that is itself medically necessary).  Medical insurance is not intended to cover business or recreational travel expenses.
I thought covid expenses are reimbursed to insurers by federal government? 

Nope.   Under current executive orders, insurers must pay for all tests without regard for medical necessity as a matter of public policy.  The feds pick up the tab only for the uninsured (or, as a practical matter, in those cases where insurance information is either not asked for or not provided) and those covered under federal health plans/programs.
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rickmastfan67

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #307 on: November 18, 2021, 02:20:03 PM »

- Saw a Quebec plate "in the wild" on my way home from work tonight.

Saw my first Ontario plate last night since early 2020!

AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #308 on: November 18, 2021, 04:29:30 PM »

pff, I know there was at least one Ontario plate in Pittsburgh this time last week.  (It was mine)
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cl94

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #309 on: November 18, 2021, 04:34:21 PM »

I might actually visit the Great White North next week to inject a lot of money into the Niagara Peninsula's economy. I get tested weekly through work, so I should have a PCR test dated ~48 hours before crossing.

My biggest question is how much they'll scrutinize my quarantine plan. As I'm daytripping from Buffalo, I won't have a Canadian address to put down. Will they be okay with me saying "return to Buffalo" if I'm just entering for the day in a private vehicle? Everything else will be in check, but that quarantine plan gives me anxiety.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #310 on: November 18, 2021, 04:43:02 PM »

I might actually visit the Great White North next week to inject a lot of money into the Niagara Peninsula's economy. I get tested weekly through work, so I should have a PCR test dated ~48 hours before crossing.

My biggest question is how much they'll scrutinize my quarantine plan. As I'm daytripping from Buffalo, I won't have a Canadian address to put down. Will they be okay with me saying "return to Buffalo" if I'm just entering for the day in a private vehicle? Everything else will be in check, but that quarantine plan gives me anxiety.

Just literally pick a hotel.  When I went on my trip, I wasn't planning on spending more than one night anywhere.  I just used the first hotel I stayed in as my quarantine plan.

kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #311 on: November 18, 2021, 04:48:05 PM »

I might actually visit the Great White North next week to inject a lot of money into the Niagara Peninsula's economy. I get tested weekly through work, so I should have a PCR test dated ~48 hours before crossing.

My biggest question is how much they'll scrutinize my quarantine plan. As I'm daytripping from Buffalo, I won't have a Canadian address to put down. Will they be okay with me saying "return to Buffalo" if I'm just entering for the day in a private vehicle? Everything else will be in check, but that quarantine plan gives me anxiety.
I've put "quarantine at home" and my US address. Since I planed only a day trip (well, 29 hours was it), I assumed I would just turn around in case of any issues.
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oscar

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #312 on: November 18, 2021, 05:13:05 PM »

I might actually visit the Great White North next week to inject a lot of money into the Niagara Peninsula's economy. I get tested weekly through work, so I should have a PCR test dated ~48 hours before crossing.

My biggest question is how much they'll scrutinize my quarantine plan. As I'm daytripping from Buffalo, I won't have a Canadian address to put down. Will they be okay with me saying "return to Buffalo" if I'm just entering for the day in a private vehicle? Everything else will be in check, but that quarantine plan gives me anxiety.

Just literally pick a hotel. When I went on my trip, I wasn't planning on spending more than one night anywhere.  I just used the first hotel I stayed in as my quarantine plan.

I did that, listing the hotel in Hamilton ON where I had a one-night reservation. I wasn't asked about the quarantine plan. The ArriveCan app indicated the only possible issue for the border agent was with proof of vaccination, possibly the app expects to see different documents for the first and second shots, which seems to be SOP in Canada, but in the U.S. both shots can be on one card (and indeed after I returned from Canada, my booster shot was added to that card).

It might've helped that I accidentally picked a hotel (part of the Sandman chain) that offered room service from two on-site restaurants, which made it an ideal quarantine location. None of the other hotels I stayed after my Hamilton stay offered room service, but ArriveCan didn't ask about them.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 05:23:48 PM by oscar »
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Bruce

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #313 on: November 18, 2021, 07:33:41 PM »

Yeah, the quarantine plan is not asked about much.

But even if you're there for a day trip, you might be randomly selected to do a self-administered COVID test. Just make sure to find a FedEx-ready facility somewhere on your route.

oscar

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #314 on: November 18, 2021, 07:39:28 PM »

But even if you're there for a day trip, you might be randomly selected to do a self-administered COVID test. Just make sure to find a FedEx-ready facility somewhere on your route.

Has any of us, entering at a non-British Columbia border crossing, been asked to do a self-test? It sounds like this has been a problem mainly, or exclusively, for people crossing from western Washington state.
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jakeroot

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #315 on: November 18, 2021, 09:42:27 PM »

Even for me, crossing between Washington and British Columbia, I have yet to be asked to perform a test on the spot.

As it relates to the license plate discussion above: I never stopped seeing British Columbia license plates. Obviously, it was down from years past, but I've continued seeing them throughout the pandemic.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 04:25:48 PM by jakeroot »
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #316 on: November 19, 2021, 05:11:07 AM »

And while the blanket quarantine requirements are gone for fully vaccinated travelers, a border officer can require one at their discretion.  Between that and the PCR test (not rapid test) requirement, we're still not quite at the level where just hopping over for a daytrip is really practical, if such ever will be again.  After 9/11, though the border thinned from the thickest it was immediately after the attacks, it never got even close to pre-9/11 conditions, and I fear such could happen again.  Just as Americans feared terrorists transiting through the north (whether such is rational or not - let's please keep this thread open by keeping the politics out), Canadians now fear the virus could come from the south (same note as previous).

Politics aside, the arrogant attitude a lot of Canadians have towards American tourists in general (which has worsened since COVID) has really left a sour taste in my mouth.  I’m sure lots of people from the northern border states will end up flocking back in droves but I can’t see myself visiting for a couple years.  Lots of other countries were way more inviting than Canada pre-COVID (or at least I found myself more welcome) and I can think of a pretty lengthy list of places I rather go first.

How ironic. Having traveled in dozens of countries, there is no national more arrogant than Americans.  It’s terribly embarrassing.  You’re confusing Canadian “arrogance” with caution. 

And looking at the alarming number of COVID deniers in the US, Canada’s caution is warranted.   
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #317 on: November 19, 2021, 12:54:28 PM »

Looks like Canada will be making an announcement today on relaxing the testing requirements.  It appears that the plan will be in three phases - Canadians on short-term trips, then Americans, then everyone else.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/n-y-congressman-pcr-tests-to-be-phased-out-at-canadian-border-in-three-steps-1.5672420

EDIT: The requirement drops on November 30 for fully vaccinated Canadians taking trips of 72 hours or less.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-drops-molecular-covid-19-test-requirement-for-short-trips-abroad-1.5673390
« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 07:45:13 PM by vdeane »
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #318 on: November 23, 2021, 07:33:32 AM »

People weren't too impressed with the lack of any application on the part of the US government. One host straight-up said, "the BC app is a lot better" (to which I assume he means way clearer than my complete lack of an app.)

You could've told them that only a few U.S. states have "vaccine passport" apps -- about as many states that forbid them. (No national app on either side of the border -- it's up to the provinces in Canada, and the states in the U.S.)

One of the provinces I visited earlier this month, Quebec, has rolled out a vaccine passport app (the other, Ontario, was still working on it when I was there). However, the Quebec app is available only to Quebec residents, maybe it's tied to a provincial database with vax information. Non-residents can just present paper proof of vaccination, along with proof of non-residency. I don't know if Quebec makes similar accommodations for residents without smartphones.

Tennessee is one of those states that has banned a vaccine passport issuance.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #319 on: November 23, 2021, 05:52:22 PM »

Washington has WAVerify, which is able to generate a QR code (though I'm not sure if it's compatible with any Canadian system). It's pretty buggy and often times out, so I've stuck to keeping my laminated copy of my real card with me at all times.

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #320 on: November 23, 2021, 07:05:31 PM »

Any app produced by any specific jurisdiction likely only works for access within that jurisdiction and only for people who received their immunizations within that jurisdiction. And privacy concerns that prevent different jurisdictions' systems from talking to each other will likely keep it that way.

This limitation has also contributed to keeping a lid on the proliferation of apps, as it makes them generally pointless for any jurisdiction that has never widely imposed vaccination requirements to enter any otherwise public place. The state of Connecticut, for example, does not have an app for this on account of having deemed it unnecessary.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #321 on: November 23, 2021, 09:24:28 PM »

I might actually visit the Great White North next week to inject a lot of money into the Niagara Peninsula's economy. I get tested weekly through work, so I should have a PCR test dated ~48 hours before crossing.

My biggest question is how much they'll scrutinize my quarantine plan. As I'm daytripping from Buffalo, I won't have a Canadian address to put down. Will they be okay with me saying "return to Buffalo" if I'm just entering for the day in a private vehicle? Everything else will be in check, but that quarantine plan gives me anxiety.
I've put "quarantine at home" and my US address. Since I planed only a day trip (well, 29 hours was it), I assumed I would just turn around in case of any issues.

It would not let me enter a US address when I tried to select "quarantine at home". I had to enter a hotel; I hope this will not cause me any problems. If asked about this, I'll tell them that I plan to turn around if they tell me I need to quarantine.

Of course, I may also get cold feet and just decide to stay in the US. We'll find out tomorrow morning.
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cl94

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #322 on: November 24, 2021, 08:43:52 PM »

Alright, trip report. I took a day trip to Ontario today from Buffalo. I have NEXUS, so my experience likely differs from most of yours, but it was surprisingly close to normal. Both of my crossings were at the Peace Bridge.

Entering Canada: very little traffic entering Canada at 9:30 AM, which was unsurprising. Decent amount of cars entering the US. 2 NEXUS lanes and 1 general purpose car lane were open entering Canada. GP lane had a few cars, NEXUS lanes were both empty. My card wouldn't scan at the reader before the booth, but that didn't cause any issues. Handed NEXUS card, CDC card, ArriveCAN receipt, and PCR test results from Monday over to the officer. Got the standard series of questions [where, any weapons], he confirmed that I was just staying for the day, got my paperwork back, and was through in less than a minute. CBSA officer was not wearing a mask, which surprised me.

Entering the US: business as usual, except VMSes on the bridge entering the US said "masks required at booths" and CBP was wearing masks. 1 NEXUS lane and 2 general purpose car lanes entering the US. Trucks entering Canada were backed up onto I-190 with the reversible lane accommodating cars to Canada at about 3:15 PM.

Overall, the process was far easier than I expected. Basically make sure all of your paperwork is in order, submit a reasonable place you could quarantine in Canada even if just taking a day trip, and it'll be a breeze.
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vdeane

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #323 on: November 24, 2021, 08:59:04 PM »

CBSA officer was not wearing a mask, which surprised me.
I'm not sure what Canada's guidance or CBSA's policy is like, but looking at Google Maps, I do not think Ontario would be rated as an area with "substantial" or "high" transmission under the CDC's system for the US.  Canada's low COVID rates seem almost surreal given how much higher they are on this side of the border (3.6/100k for Ontario vs. 54.4 for Erie County).
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #324 on: November 24, 2021, 09:03:35 PM »

CBSA officer was not wearing a mask, which surprised me.
I'm not sure what Canada's guidance or CBSA's policy is like, but looking at Google Maps, I do not think Ontario would be rated as an area with "substantial" or "high" transmission under the CDC's system for the US.  Canada's low COVID rates seem almost surreal given how much higher they are on this side of the border (3.6/100k for Ontario vs. 54.4 for Erie County).

Well, Ontario has a provincewide mask mandate, with proof of vaccination required to dine indoors or enter cultural facilities such as museums. The CBSA agent was the only person I interacted with in the country who was not masked.
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