Canadians will not be allowed to cross the land border into the United States for at least 30 days, after the United States government announced Wednesday it would extend the closure for non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico until to August 21.
US border restrictions for Canada and Mexico renewed until August 21
Charley Johnson, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Businesses Bureau, said they were disappointed with the decision, adding that they were hoping for an August 1 opening.
“We would have anticipated a lot of traffic for back-to-school shopping,” Johnson said.
The CEO noted that businesses were doing well even without Manitoba buyers, adding that they had more problems a year ago than they are now in terms of customers.
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“I don’t think anyone is desperate anymore, but man we sure miss them. “
United States extends border closures
Dr Josh Ranum of West River Health Services in Hettinger, North Dakota, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was erring on the side of caution.
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Despite this, Ranum believes allowing fully vaccinated Canadians would be fine.
“I think this is a low risk, high reward step to take now,” Ranum said.
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The North Dakota Department of Commerce estimates that the state has lost more than one million Canadian visitors during the pandemic.
Ranum said that when the United States decides to open the land borders to non-essential travelers, they will need to be fully vaccinated, just as Canada requires for American travelers.
“It keeps North Dakotas safe,” the medic said.
The number of North Dakotans vaccinated is a marked difference from Manitoba.
Although Manitoba has a larger population, less than 50% of eligible North Dakotas received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 80% of eligible Manitobans did.
Almost all North Dakotas who received a first injection received a second, while 63% of eligible Manitobans are fully immunized.
Ranum, however, is not concerned about the risk of Manitobans traveling south of the border.