VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Canadians who have permission to cross the border by car could be waiting several days for COVID-19 test results when they come back home.
Some fully vaccinated British Columbians and some with dual citizenship tell NEWS 1130 it took up to six days for them to learn it was safe to leave their homes again. Tests were promised to be delivered within 72 hours.
In response to hearing similar experiences, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says he and Premier John Horgan are both concerned about processing delays as travel restrictions ease.
“This is why the premier has raised this issue specifically with the prime minister,” Dix says. “In my view, anyway, we’re going to have to –for this purpose– significantly increase our capacity in the coming days and weeks.”
However, Dix says British Columbians, and those with permission to drive across the U.S. border, should prepare for long delays.
“We’re likely soon to see a significant increase in traffic and people requiring such tests –dealing with different jurisdictions including different American states that will have different rules about that travel. It’s our expectation British Columbia and Canadians are protected. I know that’s the goal of the federal government.”
Dix says as the country eases border restrictions, leaders will need to think about the changes that are necessary for infrastructure.
“That’s why the federal government is taking their time to move towards opening the border strikes me as a good idea. There’s certainly going to have to be an increase in capacity.”
On Monday, Canada announced it will allow fully vaccinated Americans into the country starting Aug. 9.
But on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it will be keeping the U.S. land border closed until at least Aug. 21.
U.S. officials said given the continued spread of COVID-19 paired with the country’s vaccination rates, there is an ongoing threat to human life and national interests.