American anglers, tourists, and resort-goers had the opportunity to once again enter Northwestern Ontario as the Canadian border opened to fully vaccinated US travelers on Monday.
Totem Resorts was one of many resort locations in Northwestern Ontario to welcome back their American guests for the rest of the season.
“It’s been great, all our guests are excited about coming. It’s a great feeling now, welcome back to Canada it's unbelievable. These guests are so appreciative, they get here, they’re high fiving me and jumping for joy, they’re all excited, its a big deal, a really big deal, said Eric Brown Totem Resorts Owner
The border opening on Monday brought a lot of excitement but also brought long wait times at border crossings. Brown added that even though guests had to wait long periods of time, the process was easy and efficient.
“The ones that all arrived yesterday and today have all said that the border crossing was actually the easiest and smoothest they’ve ever had. I appreciate the border agents at the border that are being polite to the guests that are coming in,” added Brown
To be allowed access into Canada, travelers will have to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to entry, use the ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. If travelers meet the requirements to enter Canada, fully vaccinated travelers will avoid quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
Travelers will also have to show proof of a pre-arrival test. Unless exempt, all travellers five years of age or older entering Canada by air or land need to show proof of a:
• negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border crossing; or
• positive COVID-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled flight or arrival at the land border crossing.
Totem Resorts just like all resorts in the area were deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Canada/US border closure and the resort had to rely on Canadian business.
“The Canadian’s that have supported us this year. The number of people that have come to our resorts for lunches, dinners, to rent a cabin, and take a boat out. The Canadian support has been astronomical. That’s was saved us this year,” noted Brown
According to Brown, even though the Canadian border is open to US travelers, the short notice by the federal government of the border opening will not be enough to recoup some of the lost revenue the pandemic caused but Brown is looking forward to next year.
The COVID-19 did have some positives as Brown and his staff have completely renovated the resort and are ready for the influx of tourists moving forward into the future.