12/11/2020 - CHAMBER NOTES EXTENSION OF BORDER RESTRICTIONS TO JANUARY 21
NORTH COUNTRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
P R E S S R E L E A S E - - December 11, 2020
CHAMBER NOTES EXTENSION OF BORDER RESTRICTIONS TO JANUARY 21 - -
The North Country Chamber of Commerce notes that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has confirmed today in a Tweet that the existing personal travel restrictions at the U.S.-Canadian border will be extended for another month past the current expiration date of December 21, taking them to January 21.
"This is, of course, 100% expected at this time, although it has come a bit earlier than the previous month to month extensions," notes Garry Douglas, Chamber President. "The reality at this stage is that there is unfortunately little reason to expect any significant relaxation of the current restrictions before spring sometime, although we continue to encourage consideration of some modest adjustments before then centered on such circumstances as family and near border property access."
"In the meantime, we will be anticipating active engagement with the four member Task Force recently announced and tied to the Canada Institute which will be listening to stakeholders in both countries and developing recommendations for how the two countries should plan to transition toward normalcy next year," says Douglas. "We are already in touch with one of the task force members, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and the Northern Border Caucus in Congress, co-chaired by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, has also reached out and plans to work actively with the task force."
Douglas notes that one bit of encouragement in Acting Secretary Wolf's Tweet was reference to "great progress on a vaccine" and an intention to "reevaluate non-essential travel restrictions again early in the new year".
The North Country Chamber is also pointing to this news as further reason why "the enactment of a new COVID-19 relief bill by Congress as soon as possible, with a second round of the PPP forgivable loan program for small businesses, is absolutely crucial. We must help our many border impacted businesses to make it through winter and spring."
LINK TO SECRETARY WOLF's TWEET: