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Canadians heading home face travel delays, COVID testing shortages in western Washington

Travel delays and COVID-19 testing requirements are causing a lot of confusion for Canadians who are trying to get home through western Washington.

SEATTLE — Canadians trying to cross the border home in western Washington aren't just being delayed by weather but also a shortage of COVID-19 tests.

The Canadian government's requirement of a vaccinated traveler having a negative COVID test within 72 hours is now proving to be a challenge, given staffing and supply change shortages.

"Craziest trip of my entire life," said Pedro Primo, as he stood in a rapid test line near the SeaTac Airport baggage claim area. 

The 18-year-old said he was attempting to travel to Vancouver, BC but flight cancellations made his attempt to get a test difficult and within the window for travel.

The Canadians are also mandating that the COVID tests are PCR and are not accepting antigen tests that are available at local drug stores.

Canadian Val Hayes said she's been stuck with her family in a Bellingham hotel room, ever since driving up from California. She said she couldn't find any available testing along the way. 

"You can't get an appointment until January 10th, the system is completely overwhelmed," she told Canadian Broadcaster GlobalTV.

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Primo waited for four hours in the line and was ready to shell out $250 for the quick turn of results and with only a glimmer of hope he would get them before boarding.

"I don't know if I'm going to make it. It's really hard, really hard," Primo said.


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