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With U.S. border to soon reopen, Okanagan snowbirds preparing to head south

David and Wendy Mowbray plan on travelling to Arizona some time this year. Global News

News of the Canada-U.S. border reopening next month has Okanagan snowbirds excited after nearly two years of not being able to head south.

Earlier this week, U.S. officials announced plans to reopen the land border to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov. 8, without requiring a negative COVID test.

“It’s almost like getting your first vaccine, it’s a huge weight off our shoulders,” said Okanagan resident Wendy Caban.

Read more: Mayor of Omak, Wash. excited to see Canada-U.S. land border reopening

Caban and her husband travel every year to Arizona to visit their summer home, something they’ve not been able to do since March 2020, when the border closed.

However, Caban says even though they’ll head south this year, it won’t be as soon as the border is open.

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“We’re not going to go across the border on the eighth when it opens because I think there will be craziness,” she said.

“But we will sort of monitor it and when the rush slows down, we’ll go then.”

The announcement will allow fully vaccinated Canadians to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel and without a COVID test.

However, Canadians will need a negative PCR test to get back over the border when they come home.

Click to play video: 'Canadians cautioned about travelling to U.S. once borders reopen'
Canadians cautioned about travelling to U.S. once borders reopen

Caban and her husband are not the only Okanagan couple overjoyed about the announcement — Brenda Mowbray and her husband David Mowbray also have property in Arizona.

The couple prefers driving as opposed to flying so they can bring their dogs with them. They were even prepared to ship their car and get on a plane before the news was announced.

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“Well, we could drive to Vancouver. There are trucking companies that could truck our vehicle across to Seattle,” said Mowbray.

“We would fly from Vancouver to Seattle, pick up the car then drive. But just putting the logistics of that together just didn’t seem right.”

Click to play video: 'Reports: Mixed vaccinated Canadians will be able to travel to U.S. once border reopens'
Reports: Mixed vaccinated Canadians will be able to travel to U.S. once border reopens

The Mowbrays are also hoping that Canada eliminates its requirement of having to provide a negative PCR test before they return to Canada next spring.

“I am hoping the Canadian government revises some of those policies to maybe a quick test or even if you’re double vaccinated,” said Mowbray.

“I think we all need to learn to live with this and take care of ourselves and then it will take care of itself.”

Click to play video: 'Cross-border families react to U.S. border reopening'
Cross-border families react to U.S. border reopening

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