While many area lawmakers hailed news Tuesday, Oct. 12, that the U.S. plans to loosen its border restrictions and allow vaccinated Canadians to cross at land points of entry, they say their work to support communities most impacted by the 19-month-long closure to non-essential travel is not done. “For nineteen long months, our border communities have lived in a state of hardship and frustration, waiting month-to-month for news that the northern border would reopen and they could begin to move past this crisis,” U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., said in a statement emailed to The Bellingham Herald. “In that time, families have moved elsewhere, businesses have closed, and some communities are unrecognizable from where they started during this crisis."
Starting at a date next month yet to be announced, visitors from Canada and Mexico who are vaccinated will be able to drive into the U.S. through border crossings that have been closed to travel deemed non-essential since March 21, 2020, since the start of the COVD-19 pandemic. Since then, the border restrictions have been extended a month at a time.