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'This will be fantastic': U.S. border communities hope eased travel restrictions will bring influx of Canadians

Winnipeg -

Fargo’s mayor hopes the easing of travel restrictions next month will spur a spike in Canadian visitors looking to shop, sightsee and dine in the North Dakota border city.

“I think this will be fantastic, and we've got a lot of changes in Fargo,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney.

As of April 1, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.

Mahoney said the testing requirement was likely a barrier for some travellers looking to cross the border.

“I think it’s been difficult. In Fargo, we had one center open for people to test at, and I think it’s confusing coming down here on where to find it, how to go, those types of things,” Mahoney said.

Meanwhile, passengers may still be subjected to mandatory, random PCR testing at the airport, in part to monitor for new, emerging COVID-19 variants. However, they will not be required to isolate while awaiting their results.

Unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated travellers will still need to isolate and be tested on arrival, and again eight days later.

Mahoney said he believes the COVID risk to be low in Fargo based on wastewater testing.

“What we found right now we're at levels (of) 2.5. Now that compares to when we were full force of the virus, we were at 350,” he said.

He said there is a sense amongst Fargo residents and visitors that they’re ready to get out of the house and explore.

“They just have been cooped up for so long, and I think it may be the same for people in Canada. It's time to get out and do things again.”

- With files from CTV’s Maralee Caruso and Brooklyn Neustaeter Top Stories

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