With Canada testing ending, what will it mean for Whatcom cross-border traffic?
With another round of restrictions going away on Friday, April 1, local officials and businesses are expecting a robust increase to cross border travel into Whatcom County.
Earlier this month Canada announced that it is dropping the testing requirement for vaccinated travelers beginning Friday. Travelers are still required to submit information into the ArriveCAN app or website before arriving at the border crossing. Dropping the testing requirement is a big deal, particularly for Canadians who regularly crossed into Whatcom County for shopping or visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the easing of other restrictions to allow for rapid tests earlier this year, the data showed a steady increase in cross-border traffic. It went from fewer than 5,000 vehicles going northbound and southbound a day in February to more than 7,800 vehicles crossing the five Whatcom borders on Friday, March 18, according to data compiled by British Columbia and Washington state agencies. However it’s still less than half the total typically seen prior to the pandemic, said Laurie Trautman, director at the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University.
“I’d expect that upward trend to continue at an even greater rate when the test requirement is dropped,” Trautman said in an email.