The U.S. Homeland Security Department recently announced the continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border through September 21, citing COVID-19 concerns. The closure includes restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico but ensures the flow of essential trade and travel. Meanwhile, Canada opened the border earlier this month to non-essential travelers from the United States, and Canada boasts higher vaccination rates than the United States. U.S. Representative Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New York, serves as co-chair of both the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada – U.S. Interparliamentary Group.
Higgins states, “There has not been enough attention placed on the value and opportunity that comes with restoring connections between our two nations.” Travel restrictions at land ports of entry between the United States and Canada were first implemented in March 2020. Higgins adds the extension “is beyond disappointing; it is hurtful both at a human and economic level.”