WASHINGTON — A coalition of frustrated legislators from across the U.S. Midwest is formally asking the White House and Canada’s federal government to reopen the border to fully vaccinated travellers.
The Midwestern Legislative Conference, an offshoot of the U.S. Council of State Governments, passed a formal resolution at its annual meeting today calling on both federal governments to take immediate action.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to all but essential travel and trade since March of last year as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Lawmakers from across the Midwest say what qualifies as “essential travel” has been left up to the discretion of individual border agents, creating widespread confusion.
The travel restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis for more than a year, and are currently set to expire July 21.
Canada gradually began easing quarantine requirements last week, but only for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents and other eligible travellers.
The conference includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as the province of Saskatchewan.
Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario are also affiliate members.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2021.
The Canadian Press