LOCAL NEWS

State leaders ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision to extend US/Canada border closure

Jul 21, 2021, 9:02 AM | Updated: Jul 22, 2021, 6:36 am
US Canada Border Blaine Washington, border closure...
The U.S./Canada border crossing in Blaine, Washington. (Jasperdo, Flickr Creative Commons)

The United States is extending a ban on non-essential travel from Canada into the U.S. until at least Aug. 21, 2021, with Washington state leaders expressing their frustration.

That decision came down Wednesday from the Department of Homeland Security, despite Canada’s decision to allow Americans to travel north starting Aug. 9, as long as they can prove they’re fully vaccinated and have had a negative COVID test.

So while vaccinated Americans may be able to begin traveling to Canada in a few weeks time, Canadians, vaccinated or not, will not be allowed to come to the United States for at least another month. The extension could, however, be amended or rescinded prior to Aug. 21.

Point Roberts’ fire chief says all town’s businesses on verge of ruin

Local leaders in Washington have been urging the U.S. and Canada to reopen the border for weeks now, with Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Suzan DelBene each writing letters to officials for both countries.

Commenting on the decision from the United States to extend its ban on non-essential travel Wednesday, DelBene continued to express her frustration over the closure.

“I’m deeply disappointed in the Biden administration’s decision to unilaterally extend the Canada-U.S. border closure another month,” she said on Twitter. “This means further suffering in our border communities in Whatcom County and elsewhere.”

Gov. Inslee echoed that sentiment as well, stating that he is “extremely disappointed,” and that “the time has come to at least partially reopen the U.S.-Canada border.”

The economic impact of the closure has been especially prominent for the Whatcom County town of Point Roberts, where residents have go through Canada in order to travel to and from the rest of Washington state.

In late June, the owner of the town’s only grocery store, Ali Hayton, intimated that she would likely be forced to close without the easing of border restrictions. Point Roberts Fire Chief Christopher Carleton further warned that many of the town’s other businesses are on the verge of ruin.

Washington Senator Patty Murray expressed support for Point Roberts on Wednesday, as well as her frustration with the federal government.

“This is a frustrating and disappointing decision by the Biden administration that puts the border communities in Washington state, especially Point Roberts, in an absolutely untenable position,” she said in a written release. “These communities rely on cross border travel, and after more than sixteen months many businesses are on the brink of shutting their doors for good, which would be absolutely devastating for these communities.”

Murray went on to call for an emergency exemption for Point Roberts residents regarding ongoing border restrictions, pointing to the need for an urgent resolution to the town’s struggles.

The U.S./Canadian border has been closed to all non-essential travel for more than a year, since March 2020, to limit the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the closure has been extended one month at a time.

Local News

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pierce County deputies investigating death of 11-year-old

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies said they were investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl in Midland, WA.
16 hours ago
Gee Ursula One Seattle...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Thousands of volunteers give back to the community for One Seattle Day

Thousands of volunteers gave back to the community on Saturday for One Seattle Day, including KIRO Newsradio's own Gee and Ursula Show.
16 hours ago
(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

Mayor’s search for permanent Police Chief looms over Seattle amid depleting law enforcement numbers

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently consulted with a hiring firm as the decision to choose the next Chief of Police heats up.
3 days ago
Seattle Sun...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Sunny skies, warm temperatures forecast for western Washington this weekend

Sunny skies and warm temperatures are forecast for much of western Washington, with some areas expected to reach temps in the 70s.
3 days ago
Student STEM...
Nicole Jennings

From athletes to mathletes: STEM Signing Day shines light on WA scholars

STEM Signing Day gives stellar science, technology, engineering, and math scholars a chance to shine in the same way as high school athletes.
3 days ago
Prison 900x506...
MyNorthwest Staff

Governor Inslee cancels parole determination for triple murderer

Governor Inslee has cancelled an order that granted parole to Timothy Pauley, who had been incarcerated for three counts of first degree murder in 1981.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
State leaders ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision to extend US/Canada border closure