White House indicates November 8 border reopening date

North Country

Car crossing the border into Canada, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press via AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The U.S. will start letting vaccinated Canadians across the border on November 8, according to New York State legislators. The Biden administration is expected to announce Friday that it will lift travel restrictions for those arriving by air travel or by crossing land borders.

Foreign nationals will be able to travel to the U.S. if they show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel. The policy change was announced in September, but the White House is announcing Friday the date when it will take effect, according to a White House Official.

Even so, both Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins have already confirmed the date to NEWS10’s sister stations in Syracuse and Buffalo. Higgins, a longtime advocate of reopening the border, shared the update on Twitter Friday morning. Previously, he’s discussed both economic and social reasons for ending the border closure.

“A robust cross-border exchange between the United States and Canada is fundamental to our binational relationship and mutually beneficial to our nations’ citizens, businesses, and economies,” he has said. Earlier this week, Higgins said that “the sigh of relief coming from Northern Border communities…is so loud it can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge.”

The White House announced earlier this week it would lift restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign nationals for non-essential travel at U.S. land borders and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico in early November. Land and ferry travelers will be required to present proof of vaccination to officials upon request.

The White House official, who was granted anonymity to speak on a policy that had not yet been publicly announced, said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has informed airlines that all FDA-approved and authorized vaccines, as well as those that have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization, are acceptable. The CDC plans to issue guidelines on acceptable proof of vaccination in the coming weeks.

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