Cantwell Statement on U.S.-Canada Border Re-Opening for Vaccinated Travelers

EDMONDS, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the statement below following the Biden Administration’s announcement to allow non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States through ports of entry via land or ferry starting in November.

“With the third busiest crossing on the Canada border, the State of Washington’s economy suffers when Canadians are unable to travel to the United States. This announcement will provide great relief to those waiting to see friends and loved ones from Canada, and to businesses in Point Roberts and other northern cities and towns hurting due to the decline in Canadian tourism.”

In August 2021, Senators Cantwell, Murray (D-WA), and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D, WA-01) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting an emergency exception to the restrictions on travel from Canada across the U.S.- Canada border to permit access to the exclave community of Point Roberts in Washington state.

In August 2020, Senators Cantwell and Murray joined Representatives DelBene and Rick Larsen (D, WA-02) in urging former Acting United States Ambassador to Canada, Richard M. Mills Jr., to work with the Canadian government to provide more transparency to the residents of Point Roberts regarding the process and timing of easing travel restrictions at the U.S. – Canada border.

Point Roberts is home to approximately 1,100 full-time residents and an additional 4,000 part-time residents. The border closure has had severe effects on the residents of Point Roberts and the local economies that are critical to the area.