By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (Reuters) – Four U.S. senators on Friday called on President Joe Biden to lift restrictions that have barred Canadians from crossing the northern U.S. border since March 2020.
Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Jon Tester of Montana and the independent Angus King of Maine have asked Biden to allow Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the United States before October. Senators from border states said in a letter that the restrictions had caused “economic and emotional strain in our communities.”
Senators added: “A plan with an indication of when your administration would feel comfortable lifting border restrictions based on public health data would bring clarity to businesses and families along the border. North.”
They also noted that Canadians can travel to the United States by air. “We find it difficult to understand the public health rationale for the disparate treatment of modes of travel,” the senators wrote.
The White House did not immediately comment on Friday, but White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday that given the Delta variant of the coronavirus, “we will maintain existing travel restrictions on this. Stadium”.
U.S. officials and travel industry executives have said the White House is set to renew the restrictions before the last extension expires on September 21.
In August, the United States again extended restrictions closing its land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel such as tourism despite Ottawa’s decision to open its border to vaccinated Americans.
On August 9, Canada began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors for non-essential travel.
The United States has continued to extend the extraordinary restrictions to Canada and Mexico on a monthly basis since March 2020, when they were imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Restrictions on US land borders do not prevent US citizens from returning home.
The US separately excludes most non-US citizens who in the last 14 days have been in the UK, Europe’s 26 Schengen countries without border controls, Ireland, China, India, in South Africa, Iran and Brazil. (Report by David Shepardson in Washington edited by Matthew Lewis)