Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today led her colleagues Congressmen Jacobs (R-N.Y.), Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) in urging the Canadian Minister of Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Public Safety to drop Canada’s COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated individuals entering from the United States.
In the letter, the lawmakers note that while Canada has this requirement, the United States does not. By removing this additional burden, it would help achieve parity on cross border travel.
“Residents of the North Country have suffered enough due to the Northern Border’s prolonged closure,” Stefanik said. “Now that our border communities have reached the long-awaited return to Northern Border travel, I am working to avoid any confusion and remove any additional burdens to this process. I am proud to work with our Canadian partners on behalf of residents of the North Country to ensure reopening goes as smoothly as possible.”
“I am excited to finally welcome our Canadian friends and family back to the United States,” Jacobs said. “This day has been long-awaited by many in our community. As I have said from the start, our two nations need a reciprocal approach to opening our shared border. Canada must drop its COVID testing requirement so Canadians and Americans alike can travel freely between our two nations to see family, reunite with friends, and support our local businesses.”
After 19 months of closure, the Northern Border reopened to land travelers on Monday, November 8.
Read the full letter here or below:
Dear Ministers Blair and Mendicino,
We write to you regarding the testing requirement for fully vaccinated individuals crossing the border from the United States into Canada. Since such a requirement is not imposed for entry into the United States across the land border, we believe this supplemental requirement to produce a negative molecular Covid-19 test to enter Canada creates unnecessary confusion and risks hindering the full benefits of the recent U.S. border reopening.
We are aware of the hardships imposed on communities on both sides of the border due to the Biden Administration’s delay in reopening border crossings into the United States, and we are grateful for the leadership of our Canadian friends who secured a reopening of the border to American travelers on August 9th. However, now that both countries have restored non-essential travel at border crossings, it is only logical we achieve parity in the Covid-19 requirements for travelers. Our border communities have awaited a return to normal cross-border travel for more than 19 months; we should not risk the full benefits afforded to our citizens from this reopening due to the confusion and additional burden posed by the Covid-19 testing requirement.
Constituents on both sides of the U.S. – Canada border, from states and provinces across our respective countries, expect our governments to do everything we can to achieve a return to normalcy at the border. As such, we urge the Canadian Government to drops its requirement for a negative Covid-19 test for vaccinated travelers seeking to enter Canada across the land border.
We look forward to working with you on this effort to restore bilateral coordination following the long-overdue reopening of the U.S. northern border.