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Lines form at Blaine Peace Arch crossing as US-Canada border reopens to some non-essential travel

Vehicles line up to cross the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada from the US when the border was reopened to non-essential travel after a 17-month closure (August 9. 2021). Source: WSDOT
Vehicles line up to cross the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada from the US when the border was reopened to non-essential travel after a 17-month closure (August 9. 2021). Source: WSDOT

BLAINE, Wash. — Today, the US-Canada border reopened for some after being closed for 17-months to non-essential travel due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Retailers and other Whatcom County businesses have been struggling without the steady flow of Canadian customers who would cross the border daily to recreate, shop and stay overnight.

In addition to the business impacts, families with members on both sides of the border have had to endure not being able to spend time together and care for family members in need. Property owners have also been unable to visit and maintain properties on the other side of the border.

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced July 19th, that effective August 9th, “Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.”

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The announcement continued by saying, this is a preliminary step in anticipation of opening Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travelers on September 7th.

Officials will require travelers use the ArriveCAN website and smartphone apps to submit evidence of vaccinations before arriving at the border.

On March 16, 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a proclamation closing Canada’s borders to most foreign nationals in response to COVID-19. As a result, the US-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21, 2020.

The United States (U.S.) is cooperating closely with Canada to ensure that North American has a coordinated approach to combating the pandemic caused by the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

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On March 21, 2020, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada temporarily restricted non-essential travel across the US-Canada land borders. These restrictions will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on  August 21, 2021. We are maintaining cross-border activities with Canada and Mexico that support health security, trade, commerce, supply security, and other essential activities while taking critical steps to protect our citizens and to curb spread of the virus. 

U.S. Customs & Border Protection press release (July 22, 2021)

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