Caribou, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins issued this statement following the announcement that vaccinated Canadians will soon be allowed to cross the land border between the U.S. and Canada:
“Today’s long-overdue announcement is fantastic news for Mainers who have deeply missed having their Canadian relatives at holiday celebrations, family functions, and other milestone events. As a native of Aroostook County, I know all too well how many families have ties on both sides of the border, and they were separated for far too long.
“This is also a welcome development for Maine small businesses that have suffered significant revenue losses without Canadian customers, and it will provide a boost to Maine’s hard-hit hospitality industry, which has been harmed by the absence of Canadian tourists.
“When the U.S.-Canada border closed more than a year and a half ago, it created significant disruptions in border towns, where people routinely cross to shop, visit their medical providers, attend church, and participate in local events. I repeatedly advocated for the U.S. to loosen its border restrictions, and when Canadian officials began allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter their country in August, I urged the Administration to reciprocate with similar requirements and safeguards. Today’s decision will help to reunite these tight-knit border communities.”
Senator Collins has repeatedly pushed to adjust or reevaluate restrictions on non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada border. Earlier this month, she joined a group of six Senators in calling on the Administration to provide the medical justifications for continued U.S. -Canada land border restrictions. In July, she joined the rest of the Maine Delegation in sending a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, urging the Biden Administration to take steps to allow fully-vaccinated Canadians to cross the U.S.-Canada border for business or leisure given current health conditions. In May, she participated in a call with U.S. Senators and Canadian members of Parliament to discuss the importance of reopening the border.
Earlier this year, Senator Collins sent a letter urging DHS Secretary Mayorkas to ease restrictions on U.S.-Canada travel and included copies of correspondence she had with both former President Trump and former Acting Secretary Chad Wolf advocating for limited border crossing exemptions based on localized risks.