Those in the North Country have expressed excitement about the end of COVID restrictions at the Canadian border. Now, visitors no longer needed the ArriveCAN app or vaccine cards and so far, the local reaction has been very positive.
Visiting Montreal is a popular trip for SUNY Plattsburgh students to make and without border restrictions, excitement is greater than ever.
“It’s just going to be a lot livelier cause people are going to be more excited that the restrictions are not in place, so I feel like it’s going to be a good time to go to Canada,” said Eli Hamilton, a student at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Dr. Christopher Kirkey, the Director of the Center for the Study of Canada says he is looking forward to working in person with his Canadian partners. “We have a lot of projects that we do with colleagues, universities, and governments up in Canada and we need to get back to it full time.”
Local politicians have also praised the lifting of the restrictions, with Assemblyman Billy Jones saying it “will not only reconnect loved ones but will also help our local economy and tourism right at the peak of the fall season”.
Meanwhile, Kristy Kennedy, the Director of Tourism for the North Country Chamber of Commerce believes it will benefit the relationship between communities. “It’s just an exciting time for all of us, it brings us back some normalcy we’ve been craving for the last two years. We’re so fortunate to have such a gem only an hour away that we can take part in and vice versa and we have this great relationship.”
According to Kennedy, people traveling from Canada account for 80% of the area’s tourism. Kennedy says she is hopeful the lifted restrictions will bring back pre-pandemic levels of border traffic.