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As generally expected, the U.S. and Canada have announced that border crossing restrictions that were announced last month through April 21 are being extended an additional 30 days. Under the continued restrictions, personal car travel across the border will remain limited to a few categories of essential travel, such as commuting cross border to essential work (including hundreds of Canadian nurses, doctors and other health professionals working in North Country hospitals each day), emergency services and travel for medical care, among other very limited purposes.
Commercial shipping in both directions remains unrestricted. In a sign of the strength of the Quebec-New York economic connection which has been developed, truck numbers at the Champlain border crossing remain close to par with a year earlier, while truck numbers at most other major crossings are down more than 20%.
According to Garry Douglas, President, the North Country Chamber of Commerce is in discussions with several partners to begin plans for restoring cross border travel and boosting commerce as soon as movement is loosened. "We are in a dialogue with the Quebec Government, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec (FCCQ) on shared strategies and messaging, including a recent webinar we did with the Montreal Chamber on cross border shipping. At the same time, we are now working with our federal and state elected leaders to ensure that our region's cross border economic dynamic is reflected in upcoming economic revitalization plans. And we look forward to collaborating with tourism partners such as ROOST on shared marketing strategies in Canada this summer. This was a definite desire of the county board chairs of Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Hamilton Counties expressed in a recent tele-town hall we hosted with them."
Douglas adds, "It continues to be profoundly sad to be so separated from daily interaction with our friends and neighbors from across the border. It's all a reminder that we can never take our cross border connections for granted."

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