Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reevaluate the ongoing restrictions currently placed on non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada border. The border closure has created significant disruptions for people and businesses in these tight-knit communities without regard for the localized risk of COVID-19 transmission, which is often lower in rural border areas than elsewhere in the country.
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, strict travel restrictions at land ports of entry between the United States and Canada have been in effect for nearly one calendar year,” wrote Senator Collins. “While I appreciate the need to limit nonessential travel into the United States in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, these restrictions should reflect the localized risk levels along our border, and allow for certain common-sense exceptions, such as visits among close relatives or day-to-day local commerce in low-COVID-19 transmission areas.”
Senator Collins spoke with Secretary Mayorkas about this issue prior to his confirmation. In her letter to the Secretary, she included copies of correspondence she had with both President Trump and former Acting Secretary Chad Wolf advocating for limited border crossing exemptions based on localized risks. Last year, Senators Collins, Angus King (I-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) wrote to the previous Administration in support of eased travel restrictions along the U.S.-Canada border.
Click HERE to read the full letter.