WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Retailers and other Whatcom County businesses continue to struggle without the steady flow of Canadian customers who would cross the border daily to recreate, shop and stay overnight. The flow ceased since the closure of the US-Canada border due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns on March 21, 2020.
In addition to the business impacts, families with members on both sides of the border have gone over a year without being able to spend time together and care for family members in need while property owners have been unable to visit and maintain their properties on the other side of the border.
According to a story published today, May 26th, in USAToday, the current rules to cross the border are as follows.
- Canadians are allowed to travel to the US by air, but Americans are not allowed to travel to Canada unless they qualify as family or extended family.
- If an American does qualify for family or extended family, they can fly or drive into Canada. But Canada requires a negative coronavirus test and a 14-day quarantine, among other restrictions.
- The US requires a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before traveling to the US by air.
- US citizens who own property in Canada are not allowed entry to Canada to visit their property.
A family with property in Florida and on Vancouver Island purchased video advertising (below) in border towns across the US-Canada border this week pushing politicians to reopen the border. The 30-second ads are expected to begin running in Canadian border towns next week (note Whatcom News did not receive any compensation for including the video below).
The man behind the ads, John Adams of Florida, says he believes a similar ad campaign he undertook pushing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to lift a ban on Florida vacation rentals last year was successful.
People on both sides of the border are financially supporting Adam’s effort through a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the advertising. They are also leaving comments, including many voicing frustration at being vaccinated yet still not being allowed to cross the border.
No estimate has been provided for when the border will be reopened while monthly extensions of the closure continue.