Minnesotans eager to travel to Canada after border announcement
American citizens are eager to cross the border to the north after Thursday’s announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Tradeau, saying next month the Canadian border could be re-opened to vaccinated Americans.
The borders have been closed since March and while cross-border trade continues, the small businesses located on the edge of the border remain deeply impacted. Tricia Heibel, President of the International Falls Chamber of Commerce says, "we are counting on this whole population across the river." And because of the closed border, "we were always missing a half of our consumer base."
Vaccinated citizens who are ready to travel and help the Canadian econmy say they want Prime Minister Tradeau to announce an exact date for when the borders will be open. Natalie Peterson is a dual citizen and has been able to cross the border but has seen the effects from both sides. She says she hopes,"they can come up with a final date because people would like to make a plan. If they are able to make a plan for mid August they want to be able to book those reservations to those resorts, plan those trips with their families."
Businsesses and tourism aren’t the only things effected but the borders. Some families are still split apart by the closure.
"There are a lot of heartbreaking stories of people who have grandma, a sick grandma, ones who’s dying. Who they haven’t been able to visit", says Senator Amy Klobuchar.
She says she is for the borders opening up and understands why we might not have gotten a date from Canada right off the bat. "From diplomatic speak he’s just showing his cards right now… if we don’t have a way to deal with customs, that’s going to be a change for people driving down. When he says that you have to prove you’re vaccinated to go up to Canada. How are you going to do that? Are you going to use the card? Or get a doctors note?… so all those things have to be worked out."
Either way many people are looking to the north.