Windsorites react to potential removal of PCR test requirement for short trips to the U.S.
Sources say the change would affect trips lasting less than 72 hours
Windsor residents on Wednesday reacted to the potential removal of the PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada after short trips to the United States.
Sources told CBC News that fully vaccinated Canadians taking short trips abroad will soon no longer need proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test to return home.
The sources — who spoke on the condition they not be named because they aren't authorized to speak on the record — said the government is only dropping the testing requirement for Canadians and permanent residents for trips lasting less than 72 hours.
"I think it's pretty good news," Danny Maldais told CBC Windsor.
Maldais said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he would cross over to the United States once or twice weekly for "all kinds of stuff" — including shopping, gas, sporting events and concerts.
WATCH: Windsor residents react to the potential removal of PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers:
He said he has not crossed the border since it reopened, noting that the "price of the test to come back" was a deterrent.
Maldais said he and his family would start making trips to the U.S. again once the PCR test requirement for returning Canadians is removed.
"We're just waiting for all of this to be behind us and be able to cross like before," he said.
Lauren Hedges lives in Windsor while her partner lives in Michigan. She said they have been separated for most of the pandemic. She has been visiting her partner since the borders reopened on Nov. 8.
Hedges said her reaction was a little bit indifferent when she saw the news about the potential removal of the PCR test requirement for some travellers.
"This doesn't make a huge difference for my personal situation," she told CBC Windsor.
"My partner, he will still have to get the test when he comes over so there's still the complication on his end [and] there is still going to be, of course, the test that I'll have to get when I come home from this extended stay."
"But at least I know in the future if I want to come for weekends I'll be able to do that with as little hassle as possible I suppose," Hedges added.
Meanwhile, Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor-Essex, said the day the PCR test requirement is removed will be a big step forward to the normalization of travel.
"The financial burden, the personal hardship of having to take that test on the U.S. side to come back is very difficult, it's costly, upwards of $200, and at the same time some of those tests take up to 24 hours to actually process," Orr said.
"So, this is a great step forward in moving travel back and forth our international border."
"The day we can open it up and have it as a free border back and forth with the exchange of goods and services or travel, or family and friends visiting, that's a positive day," Orr added.
With files from Jason Viau