Higgins Says No More Monthly Extensions, Calls for U.S. – Canada Border Crossings Expanded by Memorial Day & Fully Open by July
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says new public health guidance confirms we can safely reopen the border between the United States and Canada. The Congressman, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, is pressing the White House to end the orders banning non-essential travel which have been issued monthly for over a year now.
In a letter to President Biden, Higgins writes, “For over a year, Americans along the Northern Border have awaited eagerly the end of the pandemic and resumption of normal commerce and travel between our two countries. The CDC's decision lifting the masking requirement for fully vaccinated Americans is an affirmation of the scientific fact on the power of vaccinations to crush COVID-19. We cannot keep the border closed forever – families, loved ones, businesses, and communities along the northern border have sacrificed so much for the past year to get where we are. Now is the time for the Biden Administration to act in furtherance of the CDC guidance and work with the Government of Canada to finally open the border beginning Memorial Day.”
New guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.
Using that same science and health recommendation, Higgins argues similar guidance can be extended to the Northern Border.
The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed to non-essential travel in March 2020. The existing Executive Order is set to expire on May 21.