Canada drops COVID-19 testing requirement for border residents going to US for essential goods – Community News

Canada drops COVID-19 testing requirement for border residents going to US for essential goods

TORONTO, Nov. 21 (Reuters) – Canadians entering the United States for fuel and other essential supplies will not be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result upon their return as Ottawa seeks to help flood-stricken residents of British Columbia, said one federal official on Sunday.

While the flooding situation in Canada’s westernmost province remains severe, there have been some improvements as water levels drop and roads and highways reopen, Secretary of State for Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair told a media conference. But more potentially damaging weather is forecast for the province this week.

Blair said the exemption would allow people living in a border community who travel to the United States for essential goods to return without the need for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

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British Columbia has declared a state of emergency after a phenomenon known as an “atmospheric river” caused a month of rain in two days, paralyzing parts of the province, leading to food and fuel shortages. read more

The flooding has killed at least four people and could become one of Canada’s worst natural disasters. read more

The county has imposed an 8 gallon (30 liter) limit on fuel purchases for non-essential vehicles.

More rain, wind and snow is expected through Monday for the regional district on the province’s north coast, including Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the northern coast of the Pacific Ocean, potentially causing flooding and landslides.

Last week’s floods washed away roads and railroads, shut down Vancouver, Canada’s third-largest city, and the rest of the country’s lower mainland, and completely blocked access to some cities.

Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he is optimistic the rail corridor will reopen by the middle of the week, based on feedback from rail operators.

Some 500 Canadian troops will be in the province Sunday evening to assist with rescue efforts.

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Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Peter Cooney

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