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BUFFALO, N.Y. — A little more than two weeks ago, Canada eliminated COVID-19 testing requirements for Canadians making short trips to the United States.
This week, immigration attorney Rosanna Berardi was preparing for that policy to potentially be short-lived and perhaps even more restrictive travel policies to return.
"We had heard rumblings the night before they were going to close the border again, institute travel restrictions, so we were really worried. So it was a great surprise yesterday afternoon to hear that they were just advising against international travel," she said.
Berardi said banning international travel around the holiday season would have created a lot of issues for Canadians who had already booked plane tickets and vacations. She said it also would have had an impact on the Western New York economy, which is finally bringing back cross-border consumers.
"If you go to the Galleria or the airport, you’re definitely seeing Canadian-plated cars so hopefully that will continue," Berardi said. "It’s good for the economy. We’ll just have to see after the holiday surges that everyone’s expecting, what actually happens."
Canada is advising against international travel. However, Berardi pointed out the government didn’t specifically urge people not to travel to the United States.
She thinks many people, especially in Southern Ontario, don’t consider a quick trip to New York international travel.
"I don’t think it’s going to slow Canadians down coming to the United States, especially those who have been vaccinated with their booster. I think it’s going to be business as usual," she said.
The attorney said Canada’s obvious concerns do create uncertainty for the future. She said people considering longer-term plans should take that into account.
"We can never guarantee what’s going to happen so if you need to be in the United States or vice versa, you need to be in Canada, stay put because this is just fluid and evolving as time goes on," Berardi said.
Meanwhile, she said she doesn’t expect Canada to drop its testing requirement for American travelers anytime in the near future.

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