WASHINGTON and CONCORD, N.H. – On Wednesday, news broke that the United States plans to open non-essential travel at the Canadian and Mexican border for non-vaccinated individuals, receiving a positive response from New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation.
Since March 2020, travel across the two nations’ border has been severely restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in significant disruptions to New Hampshire communities, businesses and families. In light of progress in COVID-19 vaccinations in both countries, Canada opened its border to vaccinated Americans in August.
“I’m thrilled the U.S.-Canada border will finally re-open to vaccinated Canadians. For months, I’ve met with New Hampshire stakeholders to discuss the harm caused by the closure of the U.S.-Canada border, and I’m so pleased that our advocacy has led to this critical first step to resume normal operations at the border,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “This is a win for families who’ve been separated and businesses and tourism industries whose operations have been blocked since the start of the pandemic. This is a common-sense, long overdue decision I’ve pushed for since the summer, and I’m eager to work with the Biden administration to ensure the border’s opening comes as swiftly and safely as possible.”
“The reopening of the border to vaccinated individuals is an important and long overdue announcement, and I am glad the administration heeded my calls to end these travel restrictions in order to help New Hampshire’s economy rebound and support our tourism communities,” said U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
“I’m pleased the Biden-Harris administration has taken this long-overdue step to safely reopen the U.S. border to fully vaccinated travelers,” said U.S. Representative Annie Kuster (D-NH-02). “For months I have called to get this plan put into effect, and I look forward to the positive impact this decision will have on New Hampshire’s tourism economy and families with loved ones on the other side of the northern border.”
“I am pleased the Biden Administration has finally heeded the calls to reopen the Canadian border for non-essential travel for fully-vaccinated individuals,” said U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) “For nearly two years, travel across our northern border has been restricted, but it has been clear for some time that these restrictions were no longer consistent with science or common sense. These restrictions hurt our economy and prevented families from being able to see friends and loved ones after nearly two years apart. That is why I repeatedly called on the Administration to safely reopen the border to facilitate tourism, allow friends and family to reunite, and relieve burdens on cross-border companies. I am grateful for this announcement and what it will mean for people and businesses on both sides of the border.”
At the state level, the response was also positive.
“Our tourism industry has been anxiously awaiting this news for months, and we are all happy to see the federal government has finally lifted these land border restrictions,” said New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “We are excited to welcome back our Canadian friends very soon and we fully expect to see an increase in visitation to the state in the coming months when our neighbors from the north return.”