WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Lawmakers are criticizing the additional extension of non-essential travel across the Northern United States Border.
On Monday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-NY, confirmed that the United States will continue to prohibit entry into the country across the northern border to nonessential travelers. This was set to expire on September 21 and has now been extended through October 21, 2021.
According to previous restrictions set at the Northern Border, this specifically impacts Canadian travelers who are deemed nonessential. Essential travel is defined by the following criteria listed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In response to this extension, Rep. Stefanik criticized U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration. Stefanik claimed that the border closure will harm businesses in the North Country.
“On the same day the Biden Administration announced it will start to ease foreign travel restrictions with several countries, including China and Iran, President Biden still refuses to even establish a clear plan for reopening the northern border,” Rep. Stefanik said in a press release.
The statement issued by Stefanik referenced a new international air travel system implemented by the White House that is set to start in early November. This system will require all foreign nationals traveling to the United States to be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound plane. The new system will also include increased testing for the coronavirus, contact tracing and masking.
Stefanik went on to add, “It’s past time for this administration to do its job, so members of the North Country can be reunited with their families, tourism can resume, and small businesses no longer have to suffer from this administration’s failure. This prolonged closure has been devastating for our region, and New York deserves better.”
Nonessential travel remains restricted at both borders between the United States, Canada and Mexico. However, Canada recently opened its border to American travelers on August 9. This allowed non-essential travelers to enter the country under certain guidelines.
Restrictions were first issued at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.