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Montana politicians react to planned Canadian border reopening

Border Opens
Posted at 3:04 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 12:29:22-04

MISSOULA  — The United States borders with Canada and Mexico will reopen to non-essential travel.

As MTN News showed you at the Port of Roosville and Eureka, travel between the United States and Canada and then travel between the U.S. and Mexico has been restricted to essential travel since the start of the pandemic.

The Biden Administration's new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. starting in November. By early next year, all travelers entering the U.S. will need to be fully vaccinated.

canada border eureka

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) -- not just those in the U.S.

Montana's governor and Congressional delegation have been vocal about reopening the border and on Wednesday they expressed both support for the announcement and thoughts on the guidelines that come with it.

Gov. Greg Gianforte, who visited Eureka in August, expressed his support by saying “though long, long overdue, reopening the northern border is welcome news to Montanans whose families, businesses, and communities have suffered for many months from the Biden administration’s continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border." He added, "I’ll continue to urge the Biden administration to fully reopen the U.S.-Canada border to trade and travel to make our Montana communities whole."

Gianforte Canada Border

Fellow Republican, Senator Steve Daines, wrote Montana families, small businesses, and communities will now feel the relief they've been seeking for months.

"While I’m glad to see President Biden take this initial step to reopen the U.S-Canada border for vaccinated Canadians, I urge him to end all restrictions and fully reopen the northern border—Montanans are depending on it,” Sen. Daines stated.

Daines Canada Border

Montana's Democratic U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, also touched on how Montanans depend on cross-border travel.

"I’m glad that the Biden Administration listened to me and the thousands of Montanans who fought back against this shortsighted policy, and I will continue pushing to make sure that the northern border re-opens as quickly and as safely as possible so that families and businesses on both sides of the border can continue to fully rebound from this crisis."

Tester Canada Border

Montana's lone Congressman, Representative Matt Rosendale said he was happy with the move, but added, “I am very concerned that President Biden is using this as a tool to advance his COVID-19 vaccine mandates for those to participate in essential trade, especially as one supply chain continues to have dire consequences for American consumers."

Rosendale Canada Border

The border closed in March 2020. The land border reopened to vaccinated Americans in August.