The federal government says that as of November 30, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who are visiting the United States for less than 72 hours will not need a costly molecular test for COVID-19 in order to return home.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also says that by the end of the month, travellers who received the Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covaxin vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes.

Critics in both countries have been complaining for weeks about the need for what is known as a PCR test, which can run between $150-$300 per swab, saying it is a major deterrent to the resumption of cross-border travel.

Travellers who are out of the country for more than 72 hours, however, will still be required to present a negative molecular test at the border on their way home.

New York congressman Rep. Brian Higgins wants the test scrapped entirely for vaccinated travellers, but officials say Canada is taking a more responsible, gradual approach to easing its travel restrictions.

The agency also says that as of January 15, it is closing certain loopholes in the vaccination requirement for travellers, including for international students, athletes, work permit holders and essential service providers, including truck drivers.