Democrats in Congress are urging the Biden administration to further ease cross-border travel restrictions after Canada lifted travel rules earlier this week.
Border communities near Canada are struggling financially during the pandemic as travel is restricted. Canada lifted testing and vaccination rules related to COVID-19 on October 1.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative. In a joint letter to the Biden administration, Brian Higgins called for similar changes in the United States.
“Today, severe COVID-19 cases and deaths in both Canada and the U.S. are down significantly, in part because the Biden administration is working with our Canadian neighbors and local leaders to ensure border communities have the access they need to fight the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and other healthcare support,” they wrote. “In light of these positive developments, we believe now is the perfect time to ease restrictions, which will once again unleash the northern border economy, reunite friends, family and colleagues at the border, and continue the U.S.-Canada partnership. It is vital to the success of both our countries. vital.”
The border closure is estimated to have cost the U.S. economy about $1.5 billion, costing Erie County between $665 million and $855 million annually.
Border restrictions have also strained supply chains for businesses, hospitals and medical equipment. The Biden administration has previously said it would reopen the land border with Canada to fully vaccinated travelers from the country.