North Country lawmakers react to Canadian Border reopening

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Signs Hang on the entrance way to Canada via the Rainbow Bridge on March 18, 2020, in Niagara Falls N.Y. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close the U.S Canada border to non-essential travel in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but trade will not be affected. (AP / Jeffrey T. Barnes)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local lawmakers are reacting to the Canadian government’s announcement to ease travel restrictions for the northern border.

Starting August 9 the Canadian border will reopen for fully vaccinated Americans for nonessential travel without having to quarantine.

After months of advocating for a binational plan to reopen the U.S.- Canadian border, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer was happy to see the announcement.

“Canada’s policy change is long overdue and has the potential to be terrific news for thousands who have loved ones, property, or commercial interests across the border,” Schumer said.

“However, as I just stressed directly to Ambassador Hillman, the US and Canadian governments must work in lock-step over the next few weeks to ensure the safest and most-efficient procedures are followed and not unduly burdensome for any and all vaccinated individuals wishing to cross the border in either direction. The United States must now immediately follow suit, make our policy uniform, and further energize NY’s recovery,” he added.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik also added that this adjustment to over-the-border travel restrictions was long overdue.

“Today’s announcement is a positive and long-overdue step forward by the Canadian government,” Stefanik said. “The fact that after 16 months of restricted travel the Biden Administration has still not announced a plan for restoring travel into the U.S. is unacceptable. The Biden Administration needs to step up and begin a full reopening of travel into the United States. Extending the current restrictions any further, in light of the progress our Canadian neighbors have announced, would be devastating to every community along the northern border.” 

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