NIAGARA FALLS N.Y. (WIVB) — After more than a year and a half, our neighbors to the north can once again drive over the border and visit the U.S. Starting Monday the border opens for fully vaccinated Canadians.

When Canadian tourists pay the Cataract city a visit, the folks at Cantina Falls will be ready to serve up their best taco dishes. “We’re gearing up, we’re ready to open those borders, ready to get our neighbors back, get our international traveling back. We’re ready to get back to where we were before COVID happened,” said Charles Harris who’s the executive chef at Cantina Falls located on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls.

“We’re looking forward to seeing all the new faces from our neighbors coming back over here and greeting people, welcoming arms, and creating good food, food for the soul,” Harris added.

The U.S. Canadian Border opens Monday for fully vaccinated Canadians. This will be the first time since March 2020 that Canadians can drive over the Rainbow bridge and visit family and stop by the local restaurants and souvenir shops.

“I’m very eager to see our neighbors come back. I know it’s been a hard year for everyone, especially a lot of the industries in this area,” Harris said.

“Hopefull,y it’s going to help out with business a lot. We’ve already been doing really well with just one side of the border. So hopefully with the other side opening up, we’ll have more people coming over to do more shopping around here,” said John Turner, who works at the Bloomin Onion Souvenir Shop in Niagara Falls.

Congressman Brian Higgins says he wants Canadian officials to drop the COVID testing requirement for Canadians. Higgins says Canada’s testing rule could keep some from making the trip across the international bridges. “It’s very expensive, it’s intrusive and it’s an unnecessary step,” Rep. Higgins said. “Vaccines, being fully vaccinated, should provide you with the protection you need from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.”