Politicians in Canada and the United States are pushing the Biden administration to reopen the U.S. land border to fully vaccinated Canadian travelers.
Canadians have not been allowed to cross the land border into the United States since March 2020, except for essential purposes. The emergency measure was extended last month and will remain in effect at least until October 21.
The ongoing closure means the Canada-U.S. Border has operated under two different sets of rules since late summer, when Ottawa began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. travelers to enter Canada, even for non-essential purposes.
“Canada recognized the powerful protection offered by vaccines and opened its border to all fully vaccinated Americans in August,” said a joint statement by US Representative Brian Higgins and Congressman Randy Hoback.
“The United States must follow the science and do the same.”
Hoback is the Conservative MP for Prince Albert. Higgins, a Democrat, represents New York’s 26th Congressional District, which includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
Yesterday, @MPRandyHoback & I discussed the impact of the continued border closure on our constituents & economies.
With over 70% of Canadians fully vaccinated, this only makes scientific sense for the @WhiteHouse a> to reopen the border to vaccinated travelers.
U.S. border policy has been criticized as inconsistent because the United States allowed Canadians to enter by air for recreation during most of the pandemic – even before vaccines were available.
The United States also plans to introduce a new policy in November that will allow a wider range of fully vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to the United States provided they also present proof of a negative COVID-19 test. .
“Canadians and Americans have been through too much separation for too long and our economies have suffered. We owe it to businesses, families and communities on both sides of the border to provide a clear policy that allows us to come together again, ”he added. Higgs and Hoback’s statement continued.
Border companies are still suffering
The Frontier Duty Free Association, the industry association representing duty-free companies at Canada’s land borders, said sales were down 80% from pre-pandemic levels due to a lack of border traffic.
He said sales were down 95% when the border was closed both ways.
The association released a statement on Tuesday urging the Canadian government to advocate more strongly for the reopening of the border to fully vaccinated Canadian travelers.
“We have lost the initiative on this issue in Washington,” the statement said.
A new poll also suggests that U.S. residents are far more worried about reopening the land border with Mexico than letting Canadians drive south.
The poll, conducted by Leger for the University of Manitoba and Metropolis North America, found that only 29 percent of U.S. respondents were afraid of the Canada-U.S. Border.
In comparison, 52.2% of the 3,714 US survey participants said they were very or somewhat worried about the relaxation of restrictions on overland travel between the United States and Mexico.
The United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico operated under the same restrictions during the pandemic.