Northern border to reopen allowing fully vaccinated Canadians to enter U.S.
The U.S. Canada border will reopen to Canadian travelers who wish to come to the United States, however they must be fully vaccinated.
The change goes into effect in November, although it is not clear if that means Nov. 1 or another date.Some elected state officials praised the decision, following a long shutdown due to the pandemic.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand praised the Biden administration’s decision to allow fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico to travel to the U.S. for non-essential travel through all ports of entry. Gillibrand has repeatedly urged the administration to prioritize the reopening the land border to vaccinated travelers, especially for the northern Canadian border which is an economic engine for New York State.
“Finally, the New York-Canadian border will be open again to vaccinated travelers from both nations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The northern border is an indispensable economic partnership and ties our two nations together and I have repeatedly urged the Biden administration to enact this common sense policy now that 78% of Canadians over the age of 12 are vaccinated. This reopening will be welcome news to countless businesses, medical providers, families, and loved ones that depend on travel across the northern border.”
New Gov. Kathy Hochul also supported the decision to reopen the border.
"I applaud our federal partners for reopening our borders to Canada, something I have called for since the beginning of the closure," she said. "Canada is not only our trade partner, but more importantly, Canadians are our neighbors and our friends. From Western New York to the North Country, I look forward to welcoming our Canadian neighbors back to New York as we continue to rebuild and recover from this pandemic."
Since March of 2020, travel along the U.S.-Canadian border has been severely restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in significant disruptions to New York communities, businesses, and families. According to Gillibrand's office, the closure and loss of Canadian business cost the U.S. economy $1.5 billion each month and $665-855 million annually in Erie County alone.
In July, Gillibrand applauded Canada’s decision to reopen the border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens, even as the U.S. government extended its ban on non-essential travel from Canada.