Republished from Nov. 9 Newport Dispatch
DERBY LINE — The U.S. border has reopened to vaccinated Canadians, but they don’t appear to be flocking into Vermont just yet.
Shortly after midnight this morning, Customs and Border Protection agents began letting fully vaccinated vacationers, visitors, and day-trippers drive into the U.S. for the first time since March 2020.
Midnight was about as busy as things got in Derby Line, as a few dozen vehicles and RVs made their way into the US.
The scene in Derby Line was similar across the country as the midnight rush dwindled to virtually zero vehicles.
By 9 a.m. Eastern Time, traffic delays even at the busiest crossings were mostly only a few minutes.
Travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to cross, but are not required to take a COVID test to enter the U.S. by land.
Canadians have to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of the border crossing in order to return home.
Day-trippers can get their tests done in Canada and use it to re-enter, as long as it was done within 72 hours, however, this seems to defeat the purpose of the test requirement as a Canadian could take their test in Canada, be exposed to COVID-19 while in the U.S., and then return home with no further testing.
Testing requirements, which could cost between $150 to $250, are expected to continue to discourage many Canadians from quick visits across the border, which used to be common in places like Derby Line.
Before the border closed, Quebecers used to routinely cross to buy gas and milk.
Stanstead, Quebec humorist Ross Murray summed up the situation in a Tweet: “All right! Hopping over to Vermont to pick up milk. It’ll only cost $201.18. Anyone want anything?”