The Biden administration announced this week that the US land borders will reopen to non-essential travel in November. The Associated Press reported that international travelers will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Vehicle, train and ferry travel between the United States and Canada has been restricted since last year. The Homeland Security Secretary said the border would reopen in early November as restrictions on air travel were relaxed.
Montana congressmen have been pushing to reopen the border for months. Everyone was happy to learn of the resumption of non-essential round trips, but they were all cautious.
U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale said in a statement Wednesday that he has been pushing for a reopening since February, but that “I am very concerned that the Biden administration is using this as a tool to advance its COVID-19 vaccine mandates for those who participate in essential activities. commerce, especially as our supply chain continues to have dire consequences for American consumers. “
US Senator Steve Daines responded to Biden’s announcement by calling for all restrictions to be lifted, saying “families, small businesses and communities in Montana will finally be able to feel some of the relief they have been seeking for months. now that the northern border is partially reopened While I am happy to see President Biden take this first step to reopen the Canada-U.S. border for vaccinated Canadians, I urge him to end all restrictions and fully open the northern border – the Montanais depend on it. “
US Senator Jon Tester criticized Biden’s earlier refusal to open the border. On Wednesday, he said in a press release: “The Montanais depend on cross-border trade and travel to support our businesses and keep our communities connected, and the Biden administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed has needlessly hurt our economy.I am glad that the Biden administration listened to me and the thousands of Montanais who fought against this shortsighted policy, and I will continue to push for the northern border to reopen as quickly and safely as possible so that families and businesses on both sides of the border can continue to fully recover from this crisis. “
Montana’s 545-mile northern border has many border towns, and Montana’s exports to Canada in 2018 accounted for over 40% of the state’s total exports that year.