By Amelia Riley
Border-crossing restrictions in the U.S. are expected to lift next month for vaccinated Canadian and Mexican travellers.
In early November, the U.S. is set to open its land borders for non-essential travel, ending the freeze that began 19 months ago due to COVID.
However, unvaccinated travellers are still banned from entering the U.S. by land and must have a negative test to travel by air.
Many Canadians experienced frustration and heartbreak after COVID restrictions stopped them from seeing family and friends. Even though Canada opened its land borders in early August to vaccinated U.S. tourists, they did not get the same opportunity from the U.S.
Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Senator said: “This reopening will be welcome news to countless businesses, medical providers, families, and loved ones that depend on travel across the northern border.”
People were unable to travel across the land borders after both countries shut them to tourists in March 2020.
In February last year, Devon Weber moved to Montreal with her son and husband, believing she would be able to frequently drive to New York to visit her family.
Devon was able to make the drive with her toddler, only once in June this year to visit her brother, who she hadn’t seen in 16 months. She didn’t want to travel by air due to the risk of catching Coronavirus in the airport or on a plane, and her husband (who is Canadian) couldn’t go with them due to border restrictions.
“Driving solo for eight hours with a toddler is a lot,” she said, but is now relieved her husband is able to travel with her. “That is a huge sort of weight off my shoulders.”
Days after the U.S. government said it was not the right time to lift restrictions, the announcement in September of the new rules was a pleasant surprise to many.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary said: “We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”