U.S. Border Set to Open for Fully Vaccinated Canadians in Early November
MINNESOTA — After more than 18 months of a closed border with Canada, the U.S. is allowing entry to fully vaccinated Canadians starting in early November.
This is of course welcomed news for families who have been separated by the border during the pandemic, and not only does it allow for that re-uniting, but it’s also good for tourism and businesses as its expected to have a positive impact on the economy.
“As they’re coming to Duluth they’ll be shopping but they’ll also be participating in some of those tourist related activities the kinds of which we want to see used by people from all over the region,” Adam Fulton, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Duluth, said.
These new U.S. rules will be in phases. Phase one in early November will allow those fully vaccinated to travel for nonessential reasons like visiting friends and family or tourism. Phase two in January of 2022 will require all foreign travel to be vaccinated.
Tricia Heibel, the Chamber of Commerce President in International Falls, said “it’s very exciting and we’ve got a lot of new businesses in our downtown area and community that a lot of our Canadian friends and shoppers haven’t been able to experience yet but we’re excited for them to come to”.
Residents in Thunder Bay have been known to utilize the amenities offered in the Northland, and according to Duluth’s Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development, the economy is set to rebound positively.
“The Thunder Bay region has about 140,000 people who live there, and it’s quite distant from other parts of Canada, they’re pretty close to Duluth it’s about a 7 hour drive from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay versus about 3.5 to Duluth so we recognize that there are lots of reasons why the thunder bay area is a sister city to the city of Duluth,” Fulton said.
And this re-opening also happens at the perfect time for holiday retail.
“Holiday shopping is something that’s very much on our mind, how will that unfold this year, we’ve seen a strong recovery in Duluth’s retail sector and so I would expect it would be fairly strong,” Fulton added.
Meanwhile, while there’s no set date for the reopening, the hope is of course sooner than later.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed we would definitely like to see it on the earlier side of the month as we feel that this is months overdue already so to not have to delay too far into November to see that happen,” Heibel said.
The Biden Administration will also be reopening Mexico’s border, when the green light is given to Canada.