The United States is extending restrictions on nonessential travel with Canada and Mexico through Oct. 21, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reports on Monday.
Fully vaccinated Americans have been allowed to drive into Canada since Aug. 9, but now Canadians will need to wait at least one more month to do the same.
Businesses on both sides of the border are suffering as a result of the situation, which has lasted more than 18 months.
Dottie Gallagher, the President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce, spoke briefly about the economic impact the region is enduring.
“Canadians have not been able to shop in our stores or attend our sport and culture events. They used to buy 10% percent of our tickets,” said the CEO.
Meanwhile, thousands of Canadians who used to cross into the States to purchase gas have also been losing money.
For instance, a gallon of gas costs 5.13 in Ontario while it costs only 3.20 in New York. That represents an average of US 23 more per fill up if they buy it home.
State Sen. Sean Ryan (Buffalo), also expressed his discontent with the situation. “The number one concern is safety, and once again, we are not gonna be safe unless more Americans get vaccinated.”
“The underlying problem with all this is that if people don’t get vaccinated we are gonna continue to have restrictions on our lifestyle” he added.
A remarkable fact is that Canada is farther ahead in vaccinations than the United States. As of today, The northern neighbor has 68.72% of its population fully vaccinated versus the 55.4% of Americans who have been immunized.
For its part Mexico has only managed to vaccinate 37.3% of its people, which makes it difficult to understand why the Canada and Mexico border situations receive an equal treatment.
The good news is that Zients also stated that the United States will be easing its air border restrictions on inbound travel for citizens of 33 nations.
The policy change will allow fully vaccinated air travelers from the European Union and Schengen region, as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil, to come back to the country in “early November.”