Snowbirds prepare to head south as US border restrictions lift

Snowbirds start their engines

Snowbirds everywhere are celebrating Wednesday's announcement that the United States plans to reopen the land border to fully vaccinated Canadians in November.

"The border's opening, the border's opening."

It's the news Okanagan resident Wendy Caban and thousands of other Canadians who typically winter in the United States have been waiting for.

The United States land border has been closed for the past 19 months. The new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel, starting in early November.

"I don't think it's totally clear whether a mixture of AstraZeneca and another approved vaccine is going to be allowed or not," noted Caban, but she says she's thrilled that her life looks like it will be returning to what she is used to.

Caban says she isn't worried for her health while living in the states despite a 12+ vaccination rate of just 66%.

"You have to take some personal responsibility. You can't just pretend it's all over and go about your life. You still have to sanitize, wash your hands and wear a mask and we'll be doing that," saidd Caban.

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents have been allowed back into Canada since August, provided they have waited at least 14 days since getting a full course of a Health Canada-approved vaccine and can show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

The U.S. will not be requiring travellers to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19 as part of the new easing of restrictions.

with files from the Canadian Press

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