Canadians welcome the upcoming reopening of the Canada-U.S. Land border

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MONTREAL – After 19 months of border closures, many Canadians are eager to cross the land border into the United States for non-essential travel starting next month.

“I danced all morning,” says Monica Soule, who lives near Bedford, in the Eastern Townships. For 30 years, she crossed the Canada-U.S. Border at least twice a week to stay in her cabin in Highgate Springs, Vermont, less than three miles from the border.

“Even in winter, when my cabin is closed, I take aquagym lessons once a week in Saint Albans and I go to the Swanton library regularly,” she explains.

Over time, she made many friends in the United States, but the closure of the land border completely cut her off from her social network. “I was on the verge of depression to be cut from my life,” she said.

She is not alone. “Almost all English speakers in the Bedford area have friends and many have family living across the border,” Soule said.

“My cabin will be closed for the winter when the border opens, but I’ve already booked a night at a hotel in Burlington so I can wake up on my birthday,” she said. She also plans to visit Florida in early December.

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The exact date of the border reopening will be announced shortly. “We are working on it with our American counterparts,” Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Finance, said during a brief press briefing in Washington on Wednesday morning.

The requirement to show the result of a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours to enter Canada will remain in place until further notice, the health ministry said. However, “if a Canadian wants to spend a day in the United States, he can have a test in Canada, and that test will be accepted when he returns home,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said at the meeting. an interview with CBC Power & Politics.

He called the upcoming reopening of the 9,000 kilometer border between the two countries “another step towards a return to normalcy”, thanking “the Canadians and Americans who have followed public health guidelines to bring us to a point where we can reopen our borders ”.

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After the announcement, Roxann Tutty shared his enthusiasm on the “Canadian / USA Border Crossing” Facebook group. She will finally be able to visit her husband’s family who live in the United States. “We can’t wait to visit her family and have already booked flights to Florida for American Thanksgiving,” she said.

Jenny Croft, who lives in Ontario, also celebrated on social media. She was unable to visit her boyfriend, who she has been with for 14 years, as he lives in Buffalo, New York. “Although he can come here since August, it would be nice if I could go too,” she said.

Croft is concerned, however, that she may not be able to cross the land border, as she received mixed vaccines: AstraZeneca for the first dose and Moderna for the second. “I hope I can cross. I’m still waiting for news, ”she said.

She will likely have to wait a bit longer – the verdict from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected by the end of the month. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has shared its data with US centers on the subject.

“We have spared no effort in defending the immunization regime here,” Theresa Tam, chief administrator of PHAC, said Friday.

Vaccines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization will be accepted. Among these are the three used in Canada – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. The third was not allowed south of the border.

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Cherie Diehl, an American active in the group “Let Us Reunite”, has been trying for more than a year to convince the American government to allow members of her family to cross the land border. She is disappointed that the borders did not reopen sooner.

“For many people who live near the border, a flight is riskier, more expensive and takes much longer than a door-to-door trip,” she told La Presse. She blames the US government for ignoring the economic, emotional and mental impact on border communities, while allowing flights between countries.

The land border between Canada and the United States has been closed since March 2020, approximately 19 months ago, under a joint agreement renewable each month. The next renewal date is October 21.

During this time, it was still possible for Canadians to travel to the United States by air.

– With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press


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