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People along the US-Canada border are waiting for words to reopen –

Burlington, Vermont (AP) — In the normal summer before COVID-19, a number of pleasure boats will be anchored at Lake Champlain off Burlington’s waterfront by July 4. Most of them are from Canada. However, as the borders continue to close, the berths are almost empty this year.

Those who rely directly and indirectly on these boaters want Canadians to come back early enough to avoid losing their second summer in the pandemic.

Elizabeth White, Dream Development Director, said: Yacht charter. The company, which rents liveaboard sailboats to tourists around the world, relocated its Lake Champlain business from northern New York to Burlington in 2020.

However, it is unclear when the border (a simple sail about 40 miles (64 km) north of where the Richelieu River in Quebec flows north through the lake into Canada) will fully resume.

In the early days of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed more than 5,500 miles (8,800 kilometers) of borders to non-essential traffic. Now, with rising immunization rates and lower infection rates, many are angry that the two governments have not made detailed plans to fully reopen their borders.

Canada has relaxed that restriction. Beginning Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent residents will be able to return to Canada without quarantine. However, some requirements include a negative test for the virus before returning and another test after returning.

The Canadian and US governments are not expected to reassess the border closure until July 21st.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, commercial transport has typically traveled between the two countries. Canadians can fly to the United States with a negative COVID-19 test, and Americans can visit Canada to meet relatives and close friends as outlined in strict guidelines. However, this requires people entering Canada to be quarantined for two weeks on arrival, which is carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The American Travel Association estimates that it will cost $ 1.5 billion a month to close the border. According to Canadian officials, Canada will have about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019, of which about 15 million will come from the United States.

However, there is a human view of closing that is overlooked in economic figures.

Immediately after the border was closed in March 2020, people from both countries visited Derby Line in Vermont and Stanstead in Quebec to hold an instant family reunion in a residential area from their side of the border. .. They can talk across borders, but they can’t touch or go back and forth.

In Washington, Point Roberts grocery stores are on the verge of closing until the state grants a $ 100,000 grant to keep Canadian customers open until the border reopens and Canadian customers return. Was there. Located on a slice of about 5 square miles (8 square kilometers) in the United States at the tip of a peninsula south of Vancouver, British Columbia, it juts out into US territory.

In northern Michigan, there is a bridge connecting Sault Ste. Marie. Marie to a big city of the same name in Ontario, Canada. Citizens of both countries, Dennis Boston Talentino, has lived on the US side of “Sue” for 26 years. She commute to Canada to work as an addiction counselor before retiring in November, but was unable to visit her family there.

“The United States and Canada seemed like a world to me. I never imagined it would last this long,” Tarentino said of the border rules.

Canadian authorities want 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully vaccinated before the border restrictions on tourists and business travelers are relaxed. The Government of Canada expects that 80% of eligible Canadians will be provided with sufficient vaccine to be fully vaccinated by the end of July. As of July 1, more than 35% of the eligible Canadian population has been fully vaccinated, according to Canadian government statistics.

Madeleine Gomery, spokesman for Canadian Minister of Public Security Bill Blair, said: “In the meantime, we pay due attention to both sides, receive the advice of public health professionals, and encourage Canadians to continue to be vaccinated.”

Nathaniel Erskine Smith, a member of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Parliament in the Toronto region, is pushing for a safe reopening of the border. Erskine-Smith said relaxing immigration requirements for Canadians is an important step in building confidence in travel for fully vaccinated individuals.

“I think I keep thinking we should move faster,” said Erskine Smith.

Officials on both sides of the border should have started the process months ago to resume details such as acceptable evidence of vaccination that would allow people to cross.

On the US side, state politicians along the Canadian border are urging the Biden administration to proceed with plans to reopen the border.

“We, Vermont, aim to restore these cross-border relationships as soon as possible,” said US Senator Patrick Leahy of the Democratic Party of Vermont. “These decisions should be based on sound science, not politics.”

People accustomed to meeting Canadians every summer await while the two governments are considering policies.

Canadians are deeply missed at Old Orchard Beach in Maine, a vacation spot that has long been a favorite of Quebec people. Alouette Beach Resort had a Canadian visitor on the weekend of San Jean Baptist Day in Quebec. This is a state holiday that is often a long weekend for families on vacation from Quebec.

Owner Fred Kennedy said the losses have been offset to some extent by American visitors, and looking to the future, some Canadians are inquiring about travel in the second half of the summer.

“We still miss Canadians,” Kennedy said. “It gives the Old Orchard a flavor.”

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AP reporter David Sharp contributed to this report from Portland, Maine. So did Elliott Spagut in San Diego. Jean Johnson from Seattle. Ed White in Detroit and Rob Gillies in Toronto.

People along the US-Canada border are waiting for words to reopen –

Source link People along the US-Canada border are waiting for words to reopen –

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