US eases restrictions at Canada border

Minot’s hospitality industry is welcoming the Biden Administration’s recent decision to ease restrictions on the entry of certain travelers at the U.S.-Canada border.

The restrictions are set to be lifted in November for vaccinated Canadians crossing for non-essential travel.

Stephanie Schoenrock, director at Visit Minot, said the visitor’s bureau has been preparing for this announcement and already has sent out electronic newsletters to welcome back its Canadian subscribers. Visit Minot also is putting together promotions and giveaways to encourage Canadians to come down.

Schoenrock said there is pent-up demand among Canadians to return to Minot, but because COVID-19 remains a concern for many, it is difficult to anticipate how much Canadian traffic will resume. However, Visit Minot is prepared to welcome back those Canadians who are comfortable with traveling, she said.

“This is a big impact for Minot. We have been working with the hospitality industry — all the restaurants and retail and events and attractions where Canadians were an important part of their business formerly,” Schoenrock said. “Fortunately, we can look forward to that border opening back up.”

North Dakota’s congressional delegation called the border re-opening overdue.

“After months of urging the Biden Administration to reopen the border with Canada, I am glad to finally see some positive movement,” U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer said in news release. “A closed border hurts our economy and puts unnecessary restraints on our communities. I urge President Biden to focus his attention more on fixing the crisis at our southern border and less on implementing harmful restrictions on North Dakotans.”

“Today’s announcement to ease restrictions on non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada is long overdue,” U.S. Sen. John Hoeven said in a news release. “We’ve repeatedly made the case to the Biden administration to safely re-open the border, and this change in policy will be helpful in alleviating disruptions to border communities and our economy.”

“This announcement is long overdue and welcome news for the thousands of North Dakotans and small business owners who rely on trade across our northern border,” Congressman Kelly Armstrong said in a news release. “I have repeatedly shared with the Biden administration why the border closure is devastating for North Dakotans, and I will continue to work with Governor Burgum and Senators Hoeven and Cramer to make sure these restrictions are fully lifted.”

The United States has been limiting non-essential travel from Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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