North Country lawmakers welcome reopening of U.S.-Canadian border

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The United States will once again welcome travelers from Canada and Mexico across its borders. The border will be open to vaccinated travelers arriving by land sometime in November.

Most non-essential border crossings from the two countries were stopped early in the pandemic to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

NewsChannel 13 spoke with Capital Region lawmakers who represent the North Country about what this means for tourism.

"Usually, half those trailheads are half full of Canadian license plates. So just the amount of commerce that comes over from tourists and people visiting family has a tremendous issue on the North Country’s economy," said Republican state Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury.

"I have also talked to small businesses, whether it’s restaurants or marina owners. That’s been a big industry that’s been impacted for Canadians who keep their boats on marinas on the U.S. side," said Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of Schuylerville. "They haven’t been able to address that. So those businesses have taken a hit. They’ve lost this summer. Our hope that is during the winter tourism season, we can recoup and of course, all of next summer."

Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer released this statement:

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border closures. That pain is about to end. Very soon, the link between New York and our northern neighbors will finally be re-established, reuniting families, bolstering businesses, and ending a frustrating cycle of waiting for everyone involved."