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Sports Canadian sports fans eager to cross border as United States lifts restrictions

03:32  14 october  2021
03:32  14 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

Canadian sports fans eager to cross border as United States lifts restrictions

  Canadian sports fans eager to cross border as United States lifts restrictions For years, Jason Billingsley and his wife have attended the Bills home opener at Highmark Stadium, flying from Vancouver to Hamilton and then driving on to Buffalo, N.Y. That September tradition was derailed for two NFL seasons by COVID-19 restrictions limiting non-essential travel across the Canadian-American border. Billingsley's hopes were raised on Wednesday when the United States announced its intention to lift travel restrictions on its borders with Mexico and Canada by November, just in time for he and his wife to fly to New Orleans for the Bills game on Nov. 25.

" Cross - border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. "There is obviously a bit of scrambling — some snowbirds have already made plans to ship their vehicle down south and then fly to meet those vehicles in the United States ," Rachkovsky said. The Biden administration's strategy is to dovetail the land border policy with its new international travel rules, which will also take effect in November and replace existing travel bans with a new requirement that all foreign nationals show proof of vaccination.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic. In early January, the United States will require essential visitors, like truck drivers or healthcare workers, to be vaccinated to cross land borders , the officials said. U . S . lawmakers have been pushing the White House to lift restrictions that have barred non-essential travel by Canadians across the northern U . S . border since March

For years, Jason Billingsley and his wife have attended the Bills home opener at Highmark Stadium, flying from Vancouver to Hamilton and then driving on to Buffalo, N.Y. That September tradition was derailed for two NFL seasons by COVID-19 restrictions limiting non-essential travel across the Canadian-American border.

  Canadian sports fans eager to cross border as United States lifts restrictions © Provided by The Canadian Press

Billingsley's hopes were raised on Wednesday when the United States announced its intention to lift travel restrictions on its borders with Mexico and Canada by November, just in time for he and his wife to fly to New Orleans for the Bills game on Nov. 25.

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TORONTO -- Canadians are expressing frustration at still being unable to drive across the border to the U . S . for a casual visit, even though their fully vaccinated American counterparts will soon be able to do so. The federal government recently said restrictions on U . S . citizens and permanent residents Bob Slack and his wife are also wondering when restrictions will ease for Canadians at the land border . The snowbirds live in Athens, Ont., and drive down to Winter Haven, Fla., every year during the colder months. They didn't make their annual trip after the pandemic hit but are eager to see their

The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the Covid-19 pandemic, two U . S . officials said on Tuesday. Foreign visitors crossing into the United States by land or ferry will need to be vaccinated but will not necessarily need to show proof of vaccination unless they are referred by U . S . Customs and Border Patrol for secondary inspections.

"Whenever the Bills are in prime time, it's like, 'Yeah, that's the game that we have to go to,'" said Billingsley from Anmore, B.C. "And my wife and I got engaged in New Orleans, so we're very much looking forward to this trip."

As a Vancouver Canucks fan, Billingsley is also excited to drive down to Seattle and watch a regional rivalry develop with the Kraken, the NHL's newest expansion team.

Billingsley still has his concerns, however.

His son is nine years old and therefore unvaccinated, so Billingsley and his wife intend to always wear a mask when attending sporting events. Lower vaccination rates in the United States are also a concern for Billingsley.


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© LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images Fully vaccinated travelers will soon have access to the U . S . side of the Canadian border as COVID-19 restrictions are set to be lifted in early November. Pictured: US Customs officers stand beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at the The closure significantly impacted American enterprises that relied on Canadian customers. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the reopening. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross - border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border

Confused over Canada - U . S . border restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what you need to know about the rules and restrictions and how they may impact you. So far, the border closure has been extended three times. The current end date is July 21, and that date could be extended once again, particularly if the number of COVID-19 cases in some U . S . states continues to spike. "I honestly don't think the border will open until the end of the year," said U . S . immigration lawyer Len Saunders.

As an example, 57 per cent of Louisiana's population is vaccinated, compared to 74.7 per cent in British Columbia.

"We've got a lot of sports friends that go to the games and a lot of them have chosen to not get vaccinated," said Billingsley. "So we're very hesitant on even engaging with the people that we've previously engaged with at sporting events because we have an unvaccinated child at home."

Tim Macdonell, the CEO of Elite Sports Tours, said that after a difficult 19 months, his business has surged in the past 24 hours. His company organizes bus trips to major sporting events, with Bills fans in southern Ontario making the pilgrimage to Buffalo his main clientele.

Elite Sports Tours sent out an email updating many longtime clients on Tuesday night of the change to border regulations as the news started to break. Macdonell said that in many cases, his company's newsletter was how people found out that they would be able to see their favourite team in person again.

"People are really excited, especially Canadians who haven't had the luxury of being able to travel and do these things for nearly two years now," said Macdonell. "There's definitely a pent-up demand.

"They want to see games, travel to different venues, go to a Bills game with a group of friends ... To have that atmosphere back is a bit of normality that we haven't been able to experience for some time."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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