October 13 2021  |  Retailers

US land border to open to vaccinated Canadians

By Wendy Morley

After 18 months the US has announced that the land border will open for fully vaccinated Canadians.

Until Canada’s borders opened to vaccinated US residents in July, Canada’s land border stores had been operating in the range of -95% to -100% sales compared to 2019. A study released yesterday showed that despite Americans being allowed to travel over the Canada/US land border, our stores still have an over 80 per cent (80.17%) decline in sales compared to pre-pandemic.

These independently-owned, Canadian business are wholly dependent on the flow of traffic over the border to the US, relying on federal supports for businesses forced to close or nearly close during the entire pandemic.

The FDFA has made a statement to these effects, also stating: “We appreciate the Liberal promise during the federal campaign to extend the support for tourism-based businesses into next year. We are a tourism-based business that is the hardest hit of the hardest hit businesses in Canada,” and asking for the following measures:

1. Eliminate the expensive PCR test for fully vaccinated Americans crossing the land border

Fully vaccinated is fully vaccinated. Forcing fully vaccinated Americans to get tested before crossing the border makes no scientific sense. Hockey stadiums will now be open at 100 percent capacity but a fully vaccinated family of four faces an $800 testing bill just to drive over the border in their own car. This unscientific approach must end given that random testing over the past few months has demonstrated there is no risk to ending the pre-testing.

2. Fully implement the Liberal campaign promise to help the hardest hit businesses

This promise must be quickly implemented this Fall by Parliament. Tourism-based businesses and border stores have been closed and deeply impacted to protect Canadians. We cannot allow them to fail on this last mile of support.

FDFA also has stated its thanks to Congressman Brian Higgins, U.S. Representative for New York's 26th congressional district, for his tireless effort to raise this issue with the White House.

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