U.S.-Canada border restrictions extended

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The United States and Canada have agreed to extend border restriction for thirty days but all non-essential travel is still restricted. Earlier travel restrictions that said border crossing, in both directions, is limited to only essential travel, was set to expire on April 21st. Given the conditions on both sides of the border, government officials say this extension was expected.

Mayor Colin Read said, “We need to do whatever we can to protect our residents that are here and so I think that was a healthy move even though everybody recognizes how difficult it is economically to restrict anything but essential travel.”

Commercial travel is still allowed and people can still get across for some reasons.  

The President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Garry Douglas said, “Medical personnel commuting across the border and other commuters, emergency personnel, people traveling for medical care. ‘I need to see a doctor…I need to have surgery…I need to go to the hospital in the other country’ those things are allowed but a very limited menu.”

Douglas said that passenger car movements along the entire border are down more than 90%. Any Canadians who are returning home after non-essential travel must quarantine for fourteen days.

According to Garry Douglas, the volume of truck traffic at the Champlain border crossing, continues to be close to on par with what it was a year ago.

“Is a reflection of just how strong the international supply chain connections are and how strongly they are continuing to perform” said Douglas.

According to Douglas, the 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.

President trump tweeted on Monday night, he will be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration in to the U.S. The south Royalton legal clinic provides services to Vermonters who can’t afford counsel. Erin Jacobsen often works on immigration cases.

Jacobsen said, “I think it would be potentially disastrous if there were not some kind of carve out for seasonal workers as we are heading in to the growing harvest season.”

Mayor Colin Read said, “We are a land of immigrants, heck I am an immigrant myself. We are a land of immigrants and I would hate to see us somehow at all compromise that.”

Garry Douglas said they are looking to find out more about immigration restrictions and that they are in communication with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. Douglas says in the North Country, they have essential elements to commerce that rely on visas.

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