Travelers driving into the United States have been facing wait times of up to 4 hours at major land border crossings.
For the first time since the border closed in March 2020, Customs and Border Protection officers have allowed fully vaccinated holidaymakers and day-trippers to drive into the United States.
However, wait times in some crossings have become a nightmare for visitors who have had to wait in line up to 4 hours.
For instance, the St-Bernard-de-Lacolle crossing between Quebec and New York has reported delays of almost 4 hours.
People crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge between Landsdowne, Ont. and Alexandria Bay, NY, have had to wait over 45 minutes to enter the U.S.
Wait periods of up to 1:40 hours have been reported at the Buffalo and Niagara Falls crossing.
Foreseeing the potential delays, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a statement warning travelers that crossing borders could take some time.
“Travelers are advised to expect longer-than-normal wait times, familiarize themselves with the new guidelines, and have appropriate documentation ready during a border inspection,” the agency said.
Thankfully, wait times have improved as time goes on.
At press time, the land crossing presenting the longest wait times are Thousand Islands Bridge, Lansdowne, ON/Alexandria Bay, NY with 30 minutes and Peace Bridge, Fort Erie, ON/Buffalo, NY with 29 minutes.
In addition, popular ports of entry like the Queenston-Lewiston, Rainbow have been surprisingly efficient at processing large amounts of travelers with only a few minutes delay.
Despite the thousands of arrivals, a significant number of Canadians are still hesitant to visit the U.S. due to the expensive PCR test required when returning home.
“Those who have done the right thing should be able to move freely between the two countries without having to undergo this redundant, unnecessary testing,” said Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins at a “Welcome Back” press conference last week.
Higgins has been an opponent of the closure and advocate for the reopening for leisure and business.