Canadian and Mexican residents will soon be able to enter the United States, giving border towns a boost in spending.
The United States announced last month that it will restore its land borders to non-essential travel next month, allowing Canadian and Mexican people to visit the United States again, according to the Associated Press.
For the past 19 months, travel across land borders has been severely limited, with exceptions provided only for people whose employment are deemed important. Beginning in early November, new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the United States regardless of reason, and COVID-19 limitations for aviation travel will be eased as well.
The limits, according to Blanca Larson, executive director of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, delivered a huge blow to the retail economy. According to her, Mexican visitors account for around 65 percent of retail transactions in the 35,000-person metropolis.
“We’re more like one community along the border than two different villages,” Larson added.
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Even critical passengers seeking entry to the United States, such as truck drivers, will be required to be completely vaccinated by mid-January.
Travel restrictions wreaked havoc on shopping malls and large box retailers in U.S. border cities where parking places had been filled by cars with Mexican license plates.
The economic impact, according to San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, is difficult to measure, but it can be seen in the scarce presence of shoppers at a high-end outlet mall along the city’s border with Tijuana, Mexico. The announcement comes at a critical juncture in the run-up to the holiday shopping season.
The ban has had a significant social and cultural impact, as it prevents family meetings between relatives who live on opposite sides of the border. Even when communities outside the United States have returned to normalcy, community gatherings have halted.
The Soo Eagles haven’t played a Canadian opponent at home in 20 months in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where hockey and ice skating are interwoven. The athletes, who range in age from 17 to 20, have been traveling to Canada since the country’s border restrictions were eased two months ago. The US team can now host.
“I almost fell over when I read it,” Eagles co-owner Ron Lavin remarked. “For a lot of individuals, it’s been a long, frustrating road on a lot of fronts.” This is a condensed version of the information.