Border residents are pleased as the United States says it will lift the travel ban.

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San Diego – The embarrassed business owner and family separated by COVID-19 restrictions were pleased Wednesday after the United States announced next month that it would resume its borders on unwanted trips and end the 19-month freeze.

Cross-border travel from Canada and Mexico has been primarily restricted to workers whose work is considered essential. The new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreigners to enter the United States from early November, when similar restrictions on air travel are set. By mid-January, even important travelers entering the United States, such as truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.

Travel restrictions have hit shopping centers and large retailers in US border towns, where parking spaces were filled with cars with Mexican license plates.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said the economic benefits are difficult to quantify, but can be seen in the sparsely populated luxury outlet malls on the border with Tijuana, Mexico. The decision is made at a critical time before the holiday shopping season.

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In Nogales, Arizona, a travel ban forced some 40 retailers to close on the main strip of a city of 20,000, Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce and Mariposa Liquidation Store. Owner Jesse Fontes said. Household appliances. His sales fell by 60% and he considered closing, but instead reduced his staff from seven to two.

In Del Rio, Texas, Mexican visitors make up about 65% of retail sales, said Blanca Larson, managing director of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Department in a city of 35,000 people.

“Along the border, we’re more like one community than two different communities,” she said.

The ban also has a profound social and cultural impact, hindering family gatherings when relatives live on different sides of the border. Community events are at a standstill, despite the fact that cities off the border with the United States are heading towards normal.

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At Sault Ste. Marie. In Marie, Michigan, where hockey and ice skating are rooted, Sue Eagles haven’t played home games against Canadian opponents for 20 months. Athletes between the ages of 17 and 20 have traveled to Canada since the border restrictions were lifted in Canada two months ago. The US team can now host it.

“When I read it, I almost fell,” said Eagles co-owner Ron Rabin. “It was a long and frustrating journey for many people who are far more serious than hockey, but we are really happy. It’s great for the city.”

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents have been waiting at least two weeks after receiving their second vaccination and will enter Canada in August if they can show evidence of recent COVID-19 negatives. Is allowed. Mexico does not carry out COVID-19 immigration procedures for land travelers.

The latest move follows last month’s announcement that the United States has terminated a country-based travel ban for air travel and instead demands vaccinations for foreigners seeking to enter the country by plane.

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The new rules apply only to legal entry. Illegal immigrants are subject to expulsion under public health authorities who can quickly remove migrants before seeking asylum.

Travelers entering the United States by vehicle, rail, or ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of a standard US Customs and Border Protection inspection. At the discretion of the officer, the traveler confirms the vaccination certificate in the secondary screening process.

Unlike air travel, which requires proof that the COVID-19 test is negative before boarding an airplane to enter the United States, if the traveler meets the vaccination requirements, by land or sea. No inspection is required to enter the United States.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States accepts travelers who are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines used in the United States, as well as one of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. That is, the AstraZeneca vaccine is widely used and accepted in Canada.

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Authorities said the CDC is still working to formalize the procedure for accepting people who have received two different vaccines, as was fairly common in Canada.

“We are delighted to take steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable way,” said Alejandro Mallorcas, Secretary of Homeland Security, praising its economic interests.

Officials from the border areas of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have been putting pressure on the Biden administration for months to ease restrictions.

“This is a victory for separated families, businesses and the tourism industry since the start of the pandemic,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, reflecting the reaction of other federal, state and local officials. Stated. ..

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, “Many meetings were needed to achieve the opening of the border.” Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, called the announcement “another step back to normal.”

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Cross-border traffic has plummeted since the pandemic, according to US Department of Transportation statistics.

The number of passengers entering the United States in Niagara Falls, New York, the busiest land on the Canadian border, fell 83% in 2020 to 1.7 million, remaining low this year.

Patrick Karer, president and chief executive officer of Visit Buffalo Niagara, the region’s tourism office, said:

The busiest San Diego border checkpoint in San Diego fell 30% last year to 18 million. On Wednesday, taxi drivers, including those who exercised, rarely played on nearby bridges.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has decreased to about 85,000 per day, the lowest level since July. Per capita case rates in Canada and Mexico were significantly lower than in the United States during the pandemic, exacerbating dissatisfaction with the US travel ban.

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Miller reported from Washington. Toronto Associated Press writer Rob Gillies. Juan A. Rosano of Houston; Wilson Ring of Montpelier, Vermont. Contributed by Ed White of Detroit, Anita Snow of Phoenix, Carolyn Thompson of Buffalo in New York, Alexis Triborado of Mexico City, and Julie Watson of San Diego.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Border residents are pleased as the United States says it will lift the travel ban

Source link Border residents are pleased as the United States says it will lift the travel ban

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