Border tips ahead of summer travel season

It takes significant effort annually to plan and prepare for peak periods, such as the summer months. The CBSA works with bridge and tunnel operators, airport authorities and travel industry groups to plan and review service requirements, enhancement opportunities, and required resources, to deliver together the best service to all travellers.

The CBSA has also established modern processes to improve the traveller experience and manage volumes, like the International-to-Domestic and the International-to-International programs that significantly decrease connection times, as well as the Primary Inspection Kiosks, and the advance CBSA declaration option.

Key tips for all travellers:

  • Ensure you are eligible to enter Canada Foreign nationals must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation. The final determination on entry is made by a border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Understand the rules around COVID-19. There are still border measures in place for COVID-19. They vary depending on who is travelling – foreign nationals, returning residents or Canadian citizens. Answer a few questions to find out which requirements apply to you and if you can enter Canada.
  • Use ArriveCAN. All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or by website), up to 72 hours before entering the Canada. ArriveCAN collects contact, health and travel information to protect the health and safety of travellers and expedite processing at the border. It is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for travellers to show they meet public health requirements.
    • Travellers must ensure they have the most up-to-date version of the ArriveCAN app (consult the Google Play Store or the App Store for iPhone.)
    • Travellers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when they travel.
    • Travellers without a smartphone or without mobile data can submit their information by signing in online through a computing device. If travellers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can have a friend or family member enter the information for them.
  • Have all your documents ready. Travellers should have the following ready to present to the border services officer: their ArriveCAN receipt, passport or travel documents, proof of vaccination, and identification for all persons in the vehicle.
  • Plan ahead and check border wait times. Travellers crossing the border by land are encouraged to plan to cross during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be the busiest, with longer border wait times.
  • Entering Canada by water. Unless exempt, all travellers entering Canada by water must report their arrival to the CBSA without delay. All travellers, including those with a right of entry (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act), must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before, or when, entering Canada at a marine port of entry.
  • Be prepared to declare. Travellers returning to Canada should be ready to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country. It is recommended that gifts not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth. Have your receipts readily available from purchases made outside of Canada.
  • Know your exemption limits. Returning residents planning to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border should be aware of their exemption limits. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
    • Residents can bring back tax and duty free goods valued at CAN$200 after being away for 24 hours, and goods valued at CAN$800 after 48 hours. There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips, so be prepared to pay tax on those purchases and possibly duty.
  • Declare any foods, plants, or animals, such as raw poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, to the border services officer. There are currently restrictions on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States. Also declare all wood and wood products (including firewood and wooden souvenirs). Be sure to check the Automated Import Reference System to help determine all specific import requirements.
    • Declare all money or currency of CAN$10,000 or more. It is not illegal to bring such amounts into Canada, but it must be declared on arrival.
  • Cannabis. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out. Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
  • Advance Declaration. Air travellers landing in Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) may use ArriveCAN (web version) to complete their customs and immigrations declaration in advance of their arrival in Canada. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future.
  • Know the contents of your vehicle. Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
  • Use the latest technology. Upon arrival at selected major airports in Canada, travellers can use a primary inspection kiosk to verify their travel documents, confirm their identity and complete an on-screen declaration.
  • Children. When travelling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child. Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions, to help them identify the relationship between the child and the accompanying adult.

For more information, visit the CBSA website or call us at 1-800-461-9999.

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Jill Biden to travel to Ukraine border, spend Mother’s Day meeting refugees

WASHINGTON — First lady Jill Biden’s weekend trip to Eastern Europe will include a Mother’s Day trip to Slovakia’s border with Ukraine, the White House announced Thursday.

Sunday’s stop at a border crossing in Vyšné Nemecké, Slovakia, will be the latest by a prominent U.S. government official to the front lines of the Russia-Ukraine war. There, Biden will survey a checkpoint where Ukrainian refugees receive basic assistance from humanitarian and Slovakian government workers before they travel further west to processing centers and transit hubs, according to the White House.

At the stop, which will also include a visit to a small Greek Catholic chapel, Biden is expected to convey the gratitude of her husband’s administration for the work being done there and learn about the experiences of aid workers and refugees, the White House said. 

Also Sunday, Biden will visit a refugee center and school in the larger city of Košice, about 55 miles from the border, where she’ll participate in Mother’s Day activities with both Slovaks and Ukrainian refugees.

The four-day trip to Romania and Slovakia is Biden’s second, solo international trip, following a 2021 trip to Tokyo representing the Biden administration at the Summer Olympic games. 

The planned visit in proximity to an active war zone comes after a pair of trips into Ukraine by high-level U.S. officials that were revealed only after their arrival — first, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on April 24, and then just last weekend a congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The announced stops will showcase both Biden’s professional role as an educator, and an area of focus during her time as both second and first lady, supporting veterans and military families.

She lands Friday at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase near the Black Sea in Romania, where she will visit with — and serve dinner to — U.S. service members part of rotational deployments in support of the NATO ally. 

On Saturday, Biden will be briefed on U.S.-led humanitarian efforts in Romania at the U.S. embassy in Bucharest, and also meet with Romanian first lady Carmen Iohannis, who, like Biden, has continued to work as an English teacher since becoming a presidential spouse. She’ll also visit a public school in the capital city that has been hosting Ukrainian refugee students. 

Biden’s trip ends Monday in Bratislava where she meets with Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová, the first woman to hold the office there. 

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Canada eases border restrictions for those traveling north | News, Sports, Jobs

A sign welcomes motorists to the Canadian province of Quebec just over the U.S. border.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday, April 22 announced changes to border restrictions, effective Monday, April 25, making it easier for “certain eligible travelers” to visit the country.

In a press release, the agency said the Canadian government “continues to take a risk-based and measured approach to adjusting and easing Canada’s border measures.”

All travelers are still required to use ArriveCAN, either on the website or as a mobile phone app.

“The gradual easing of restrictions for travelers is part of our balanced and science-based approach to managing COVID-19 and its variants,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in a press release. “Although some restrictions may be easing, air and rail travelers are reminded that they are still required to wear a mask throughout their travel journey. Wearing a mask offers an extra layer of protection for you and your fellow travelers, and will help keep Canadians, workers and our transportation system safe.”

The following easing of border measures went into effect:

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 5-11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor will no longer be required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test for entry to Canada. Pre-entry tests will still be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers 12 and older who are currently eligible to travel to Canada. Children under 5 years of age are not required to provide a COVID-19 test result.

All fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry. This requirement will also be removed for children aged 5-11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor and travelers with a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Travelers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border. Some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions. Check the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before traveling to Canada.

Furthermore, fully vaccinated travelers arriving to Canada on or after April 25 will no longer be federally required to do the following for 14 days after arriving:

– mask while in public spaces;

– monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms;

– quarantine if another traveler in the same travel group exhibits signs or symptoms or tests positive; and

– maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited.

As a reminder, all travelers are still required to use ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours of their arrival to Canada and/or before boarding a plane or cruise ship destined for Canada, including:

– contact and travel information, and

– vaccination information and proof of vaccination (if applicable).

Travelers may experience delays at ports of entry due to the public health measures. Travelers should have their ArriveCAN receipt ready to present to the border services officer. Before heading to the land border, travelers should check Canada Border Service Agency’s website for estimated border wait times at select land ports of entry.

Fully vaccinated travelers who do not submit their information into ArriveCAN:

– won’t be eligible for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption (i.e., they may have to submit a pre-entry test result and suitable quarantine plan, quarantine and undergo testing in Canada);

– may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning; and

– may be subject to fines or other enforcement action.

Unless otherwise exempt, all travelers eligible to enter Canada who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will continue to be tested with COVID-19 molecular tests on arrival and on Day 8, while they quarantine for 14 days. This includes unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers.

Travelers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing. Travelers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.

Learn more about Canada’s border restrictions and find a link to the ArriveCAN web page at

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Border abortion clinic navigates legal challenges

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Late shipments, spoiled produce and higher prices result from traffic backup at the Texas-Mexico border

PHARR, Texas – Although traffic is moving along after Texas DPS inspections came to an end at most ports of entries at the U.S. Mexico-border last week, consumers will likely feel the consequences at the groceries stores for some time.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott in partnership with Tamaulipas Gov. Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, signed the fourth memorandum to scale back DPS inspections for all commercial vehicles.

The agreement came days after drivers of 18-wheelers blocked the entrance in Mexico to the Pharr International Bridge.

“It was in response to the conditions they suffered during the weekend,” said Dante Galeazzi, president of Texas International Produce Association or TIPA. According to Galeazzi, TIPA educates, advocates, promotes and represents on behalf of the $10 billion of fresh produce (industry) grown in the state of Texas or considers Texas its first point of arrival for domestic distribution.


“By Sunday, we had reports that it was taking 36 hours for them to cross the bridge,” Galeazzi said. “Now, what’s important that a lot of people may not think about is the international ramifications are that those truckers cannot leave their vehicles. So, for 36 hours, where do they go to the restroom? Where do they get food? How do they put more fuel in that truck and the refrigeration unit?”

TIPA estimates $30 million worth of fresh produce crosses the Texas-Mexico border on a normal day. However, that number plummeted last week.

“Just in five days, that’s $150 million of fresh produce that’s left on the other side. That’s $18 million of economic production to the state alone,” Galeazzi said. “And it’s unrecoverable because it’s not like wrenches or widgets where if there’s five days of delays that widget or ranch hasn’t lost its value. Fresh produce… is perishable. It has a shelf life.”


And while the Mexican truckers in Reynosa ended the blockade Wednesday afternoon and Abbott signed the memorandum Friday, Galeazzi said it’s an unrecoverable loss that’s affected distribution patterns and the pocketbooks of families in the US.

“The Costco’s, the Walmarts, the Kroger’s, the Albertsons, they all come here every single day to get the fresh produce at consumers throughout this country,” Galeazzi said. “It is important to consider that once these inspections return to normal levels, it is still going to take days, if not weeks, for the supply chain to return to normal levels. Because with fresh produce, those backups create impacts on the field.”

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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Local Doctors Travel to Ukrainian Border to Offer Medical Support | Chicago News

Retired Skokie doctors Dr. David Shapiro and Dr. Avery Hart volunteered with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief to travel to Poland and provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)Retired Skokie doctors Dr. David Shapiro and Dr. Avery Hart volunteered with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief to travel to Poland and provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)

Dr. Avery Hart and Dr. David Shapiro spent a little under two weeks on the Ukrainian border in Poland.

They provided health care for adults and children crossing the border, oftentimes giving people crucial medications they’ve been unable to access during the conflict.

One man they encountered was complaining of foot pain, thinking he had sprained his ankle during his trek across the border. But upon speaking with him further, they found he was diabetic, checked his blood sugar, and saw it was at dangerous levels – a 500 mg reading, while a normal reading is 100 mg.

“He had not had insulin for two weeks because there wasn’t any in any of the pharmacies that were in his town,” Hart said. “So we had to bring his blood sugar down before it was safe for him to travel further beyond the town.”

The idea of traveling to the border came up on a morning phone call, Shapiro said.

Ukrainians Viktor and Tatiana fled the country after Russian forces destroyed their home. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)Ukrainians Viktor and Tatiana fled the country after Russian forces destroyed their home. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)

“He called me on a Sunday morning and said ‘David, want to go to Poland?’” Shapiro said. “And I said sure. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to go and use our skills to try and make a difference in an otherwise very unpleasant situation.”

They went as volunteers with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief. Most of their time was spent in a refugee care center in Przemyśl, about 5 miles away from the Ukrainian border.

In addition to medical support, the center offered a place for people to stay while in transit, Shapiro said. There were representatives from various countries who helped those arriving to make plans to continue their travel, he added.

One couple, Viktor and Tatiana, only stopped by the medical tent to check their blood pressure. But Hart said he found out that just the day before, their residential neighborhood had come under attack by Russian artillery and rocket fire, destroying their home. Heading west, they were waiting for their daughter in Germany to drive and pick them up.

“This is something we saw quite a bit, was the so-called Ukrainian diaspora in Europe that people oftentimes had friends or relatives in various countries around the continent that would take them in after they got past the border crossing,” Hart said.

German pianist Davide Martello plays piano for refugees who are crossing from Ukraine into Poland. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)German pianist Davide Martello plays piano for refugees who are crossing from Ukraine into Poland. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)

Early in their stay, Hart was puzzled to hear piano music while he was in the medical tent. Stepping outside, he saw that a German pianist, Davide Martello had set up his grand piano across from where refugees were entering from the border.

“He played there for hours on end, and he was there day after day playing the most beautiful, soothing, calming piano music just to lend air of civilization to the situation and to calm folks as they waited for their bus,” Hart said.

Note: this story will be updated with video.

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Malaysia reopens for travel, opens land border with Singapore

Malaysia reopens for travel, opens land border with Singapore

Malaysia has finally reopened for vaccinated, and as well as unvaccinated travellers after two years of travel restrictions. The country opened up for travel after maintaining some of the most rigid curbs in the region. Malaysia had earlier barred most foreign nationals from entering the country. Moreover, returning residents had to undergo quarantine. All that is now going to change.

With borders reopening in Malaysia, various kinds of travellers can now finally travel to Malaysia. A flight from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur with 140 passengers in it touched down and was greeted with a water salute.

Other neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand have also dropped most of its travel restrictions. Malaysia has now finally made the transition to the endemic phase. However, it must be noted that all travellers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must show negative PCR test reports that were taken 48 hours before departure.

Malaysia is a major travel destination in Asia, with Kuala Lumpur as its star attraction. The country is expecting to attract 2 million tourists this year after travel restrictions have been lifted.

Malaysia has also reopened its land border with Singapore, as thousands of people were seen lining up at the immigration checkpoints. It is being estimated that about 400000 people will now cross the Malaysia-Singapore border in the first week of reopening.

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Traveling Nurse in Mississippi Headed to Ukrainian Border | Mississippi News

By JAN GRIFFEY, The Natchez Democrat

NATCHZ, Miss. (AP) — Tana Archer said she’s a nervous wreck.

Mallory Archer, the daughter of Tana and Mark Archer and a registered nurse, is headed to the border of Poland and Ukraine on May 14.

“I just have to go with it and pray for her,” Tana Archer said.

Her daughter, a 2006 graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School, lives in Jackson and works as a traveling nurse. Ironically, since October, she has been assigned to Merit Health Natchez, her hometown.

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She earned her bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. After high school she played basketball for two years at Pearl River Community College.

Mallory found out about the opportunity to help out with the suffering in Ukraine through a Facebook nursing group she is involved with.

“This lady, who is a nurse, is the founder of a non-profit group and has worked in the past with children in Uganda. She was looking for anyone in nursing who was interested in volunteering to go help the Ukrainian people,” she said.

“I look at everything going on over there — all these innocent people losing their lives and losing everything. The opportunity presented itself and I had no hesitation.”

Mallory, who is single, has only her dog, Lucy, an Australian Shepherd, to worry about when she is away, but Lucy is used to staying with her parents, who will take care of her while she is in Ukraine.

“I just want to go help those people out. Everybody’s life is important,” she said. “I’m not nervous yet, but I’m sure I will be. I’m more excited than anything else. I’m excited to go help. I’m sure the nerves will hit me when I get ready to leave.”

Mallory said her parents have been very supportive.

“I told my mother a while back that I had submitted an application to go. When I finally told her I was going, she took this deep breath. She is happy for me, and my father is the same. They are proud of me and they are happy I’m doing what I love to do and that I can put that to use by going over there.”

Mallory said the non-profit group she is traveling with is raising funds on Facebook to help cover the cost of medical supplies and equipment.

“If anyone wants to make a donation, that money is strictly for medical supplies and equipment we will use once we get over there. It will not go to cover any other cost like traveling or anything else,” she said.

She warned others who would like to donate that the fundraiser’s name is Making a Difference in Uganda, which could prove confusing for some.

“The lady that has organized this is the founder of that organization and goes back and forth helping babies in Uganda. The fundraiser is through her foundation, but the donations are going to help Ukrainians,” she said.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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UPDATE: Malaysian drivers bewildered by Thailand Pass, as southern border reopens

THOU SHALL NOT PASS. That’s the message some northern-bound Malaysian travelers received when they attempted to drive their cars into Thailand on yesterday morning, only to find they’d forgotten the most important thing: you STILL need to register for Thailand Pass. In advance.

Thailand finally reopened its land border with Malaysia on April 1 for travelers by private transportation. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for those who forgot that the beleaguered Thailand Pass system is still in place — and you’re required to register before entering the country. Apparently, not many people got the memo. Little more than a hundred Malaysians had registered before the Sadao crossing in Songkhla province opened at 5 o’clock this morning, the Bangkok Post reported.

Bewilderment at the Border

A boarder town across from the Malaysian state of Kedah, Sadao is home to the primary land crossing with Malaysia, which had been closed for two years due to the pandemic. Local police, as well as soldiers, were ready to provide assistance to customs officials today, in case things got out of hand. Probably, they were prepared to arrest anyone who attempted to gun it across the border when they realized they didn’t have a stupid QR code and all that ridiculous paperwork, including a Covid-19 vaccination certificate and proof of reservation/booking for a SHA extra plus hotel, whatever the heck that is.

According to local officials, some northern-bound Malaysians were confused to find that they couldn’t enter Thailand with simply a passport and proof of vaccination, like they could enter Singapore at their southern border starting the same day. Thailand customs officials reportedly turned away would-be travellers who had failed to sign up for the Thailand Pass system. In total, only 107 travel-ready Malaysians had jumped through all the right hoops to enter the Land of Smiles.

The Fortunate Few

Those Malaysians travelers who had all their paperwork ready were allowed to enter Thailand under the Test & Go scheme, where they were required to take an RT-PCR test, then wait at their SHA extra plus hotel for about five hours for the results. According to officials, those who test negative will be free to roam the country. But the incoming foreigners mustn’t forget the law of the land — to always wear a mask in public and wash your hands often. Anyone who tests positive for the virus will be “treated” — i.e. quarantined at one Sadao’s 7 SHA extra plus certified hotels.

Ryan Lih was one of the fortunate few who entered Thailand at the Sadao crossing yesterday via Test & Go with the first batch of drivers from Malaysia. He said he had applied for Thailand Pass seven days in advance and received his QR code the same day…. “There’s no fooling anyone. Many Malaysians are either not internet savvy enough to read/follow the news about the requirements [or] just assumed the old processes, by which they find out the hard way.”

Local officials say they’ve set up a coordination centre to assist the incoming visitors, yesterday most of whom have families or businesses in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported. Meanwhile, other checkpoints in provinces along Thailand’s southern border are also scheduled to reopen today, the Bangkok Post reported.

Local officials pointed out that more foreign travellers could now enter the country using the Thailand Pass system since the the government has already relied the Covid-19 travel requirements under the Test & Go scheme. However, that was clearly not the case for those who mistakenly thought they could get in with just a Malaysian passport and nothing more. Indeed, that used to be the case. Welcome to the new normal.

A Better Way

The situation along Thailand’s southern border presents a stark contrast to Malaysia’s southern border with Singapore, which also repoened yesterday for the first time since two years of pandemic — without the pandemic-era requirements of Covid-19 testing and quarantine. Now fully-vaccinated travellers can freely cross the land boarder on the southern end of the Malay peninsula with only a valid passport and proof of vaccination. Children up to age 12 who aren’t fully vaccinated must be accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.

Lines of cars, motorcycles and people on foot began forming at border crossings before midnight and had successfully crossed over by 1am, CNA reported. As of 7am, more than 11 thousand travellers had passed through the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, according to the the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, which had set up new automated lanes to accommodated the anticipated influx of travellers.

At the Woodlands Checkpoints, about a hundred people lined up to board the cross-border shuttle buses early in the morning and vehicles honked as they crossed over to the other side, CNA reported… “People cheered and waved their hands as they approached the barricades.”

The border reopening follows bilateral agreements from Singapore and Malaysia to ease their pandemic-era travel restrictions, as the two nations embrace living-with-covid strategies in an effort to end the pandemic restore normal rhythms of life among their populations in Southeast Asia.

Last week, Singapore and Malaysia health ministers said that their nations were working together to fully resume air and land travel for vaccinated travellers. In the pre-pandemic era, the two countries shared one of the busiest land crossings in the world.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | CNA


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