As the White House announced it will be reopening its land borders between the U.S. and Mexico as well as the U.S. and Canada to fully-vaccinated travelers, lawmakers and others responded to the news, saying the extended restrictions should have been lifted earlier.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) pressed for more action and noted that the recent development is “long, long overdue.”
“Though long, long overdue, reopening the northern border is welcome news to Montanans whose families, businesses, and communities have suffered for many months from the Biden administration’s continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border,” Gianforte said. “I’ll continue to urge the Biden administration to fully reopen the U.S.-Canada border to trade and travel to make our Montana communities whole.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) pointed out that Canada loosened its restrictions earlier than the United States.
“Today’s long-overdue announcement is fantastic news for Mainers who have deeply missed having their Canadian relatives at holiday celebrations, family functions, and other milestone events,” Collins said. “This is also a welcome development for Maine small businesses that have suffered significant revenue losses without Canadian customers, and it will provide a boost to Maine’s hard-hit hospitality industry, which has been harmed by the absence of Canadian tourists.”
“When the U.S.-Canada border closed more than a year and a half ago, it created significant disruptions in border towns, where people routinely cross to shop, visit their medical providers, attend church, and participate in local events. I repeatedly advocated for the U.S. to loosen its border restrictions, and when Canadian officials began allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter their country in August, I urged the Administration to reciprocate with similar requirements and safeguards. Today’s decision will help to reunite these tight-knit border communities,” Collins added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reportedly criticized the U.S. earlier this year for its restrictive policies.
Fox News reported:
As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families, and communities across Upstate New York,” Schumer said in July.
Schumer said on Wednesday, per the outlet: ”Kudos to President Biden for doing the right thing and increasing cross border travel between Canada and the U.S. The high vaccination rates on each side of the border have opened the door of safe cross border travel and will now safely increase the rebirth of the economic energy of Upstate NY.”
He noted, “Very soon, the link between New York and our northern neighbors will finally be re-established, reuniting families, bolstering businesses, and ending a frustrating cycle of waiting for everyone involved.”
Schumer also tweeted: “Great news that President Biden has heeded our call and is re-opening the Canadian border to vaccinated travelers. Families, communities, and businesses along the northern border will reconnect. And this will boost so many local economies.”
Great news that President Biden has heeded our call and is re-opening the Canadian border to vaccinated travelers.
Families, communities, and businesses along the northern border will reconnect. And this will boost so many local economies.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 13, 2021
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) stated: “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.”
As The Daily Wire reported, the White House announced Tuesday that certain border sections between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada will reopen soon, a move that comes after lengthy restrictions were put into place.
As Reuters reported:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the administration next month “will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”
The new rules are similar but not identical to planned requirements announced last month for international air travelers, U.S. officials said in a call earlier with reporters.
It does not appear that the border crossings will be officially open to those who aren’t vaccinated.