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U.S. lawmakers push Biden to lift Canadian travel restrictions By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A crowd crosses the U.S./Canadian border following Canada’s opening of the border for vaccinated Americans on August 9th, 2021 in Blaine. REUTERS/David Ryder

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Four U.S. senators on Friday asked President Joe Biden to lift restrictions that have barred travel by Canadians across the northern U.S. border since March 2020.

Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan and Jon Tester from Montana (Democratic Senators) asked Biden to grant travel permission for Canadians who were vaccinated against COVID-19 before October. In a letter, the senators from border states stated that restrictions had caused “economical and emotional strain” in their communities.

Senators also stated that they would like to see a timeline of when the administration, based on data from public health, will lift restrictions at border crossings. This would be helpful for families and businesses living along the northern frontier.

It was also mentioned that Canadians have the right to travel to the United States. The senators stated that they are unable to comprehend the reasons for disparate travel arrangements.

While the White House declined to comment immediately on Friday, Jeff Zients (White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator) stated that the Delta-related coronavirus meant “we will keep the current travel restrictions at the moment” due to its presence.

U.S. officials have confirmed that the White House will renew restrictions to protect travelers before Sept. 21, when the extension expired.

The United States extended its restrictions on land border with Canada and Mexico in August to prohibit tourism, despite Ottawa opening its borders to Americans vaccinated.

On Aug. 9, Canada began to allow fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens to travel for non-essential purposes.

Since March 2020 when the restrictions were placed to combat the spread of COVID-19, the United States continues to increase the monthly extraordinary restrictions on Canada & Mexico.

U.S. residents are allowed to return home despite the U.S. restrictions at their land borders.

United States bans all non-U.S. citizens, who are located in the United Kingdom and 26 Schengen countries without border control, Ireland, China India, South Africa or Iran, from returning home.

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