The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced this month that it was extending the closure of the border until September 21. At the moment, Canadians can fly but not drive to the U.S.
Canadians can fly but not drive to the U.S. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced this month that it was extending the closure of the border until September 21. The measure aims to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including the delta variant. The news has frustrated Canadians and their American spouses since Canadians can still fly to the U.S.
A year and a half ago, Canada and the U.S. closed shared land borders to non-essential travel. The U.S. continued to allow Canadian leisure travelers to fly. Air passengers only need to show proof of a negative test, and the officials do not require vaccination. Canada reopened land and air borders on August 9 to vaccinated American travelers. Therefore, people assumed the U.S. would do the same. Contrary to the anticipation, the U.S. has kept the land borders closed and frustrated the travelers who prefer to drive to the U.S.
Devon Weber is from Montreal. His parents live in Long Island, N.Y. He wonders: “What science shows that it’s safer to fly on a crowded plane than to travel in your own private vehicle across the border?”
Although Weber can drive to see her parents as an American citizen, her Canadian husband can’t join her. Weber founded an advocacy group for cross-border families that the U.S. land border closure affected. According to her, the U.S. travel rules put Canadians who can’t afford the high cost of flying in a disadvantageous position.
“It’s a classist policy,” said Weber. “Not everyone has hundreds of dollars laying around to be able to fly to see their family.”
According to Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. said the rules were incorporated under Donald Trump. “Air travel was a Trump administration call,” she said. “So that’s part of the issue.”