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North Country News

Canadian Officials Announce Border Reopening Plans

NEXUS lane on the far left as travelers return to the U.S. at the Champlain-Lacolle border crossing
Pat Bradley/WAMC
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Entering the U.S. from Canada at the Champlain-Lacolle border crossing (file)

On August 9, vaccinated U.S. travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to cross the Canadian border if they comply with certain rules. The border has been largely closed since the pandemic began.

Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair says vaccinated U.S. travelers will be allowed entry into Canada without mandatory quarantine as of August 9. On September 7, Canada will welcome vaccinated travelers from any country. 

“The earlier start date for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents is an acknowledgment and recognition of our shared border and our close relationship with the United States," Blair said. "But it’s important to note that the U.S. has not announced a reciprocal reopening of its border at this time.”

North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas welcomes Canada’s move but says the U.S. has been too slow to open the border. 

“Canada has now galloped ahead," Douglas said. "If there were a U.S.-Canadian Olympic Games and one of the competitions was border, Canada is winning the gold medal and the U.S. hasn’t gotten off the starting block yet.”

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer called on the U.S. “to immediately follow suit” and “further energize New York’s recovery.”

"The last 16 months have been extremely challenging for everyone - but they've been especially difficult for those individuals who were separated from their friends, family and loved ones and for the businesses along the border that have struggled because of the pandemic," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "With vaccination rates continuing to increase every day in both the U.S. and Canada and infection rates remaining low, we are pleased that the Canadian government is finally reopening its borders to fully vaccinated individuals beginning August 9. An open border with our neighbors to the North means families will be reunited once again and much-needed relief for our border communities that depend on cross-border trade and supply chains. This is a significant step in our state and nation's recovery, and we must continue our work to get even more New Yorkers fully vaccinated so we can put COVID behind us once and for all."

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