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 The extension could, however, be amended or rescinded prior to Aug. 21.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

Echo Glen juvenile...

Kate Stone

Echo Glen juvenile escapees to remain in custody in Seattle

All seven juvenile escapees from Echo Glen Children's Center will remain in custody in Seattle, following a judge's ruling.

1 day ago

seattle housing levy...

Frank Sumrall

$970M Seattle Housing Levy moves forward, awaits vote

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda -- alongside a series of affordable housing developers -- announced the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy.

1 day ago


Frank Sumrall

Capitol Hill sandwich spot HoneyHole embroiled in controversy

HoneyHole has become the subject of controversy among its employees who have been distraught and unhappy with new leadership.

1 day ago

Federal Way light rail...

Micki Gamez

Federal Way Link light rail extension delayed until 2026

Federal Way can't catch a break from Sound Transit. Link light rail service will be delayed another year, until 2026.

1 day ago


Bill Kaczaraba

SB I-405 in Renton reopen after rollover collision causes delays

All lanes of southbound I-405 at SR 900 in Renton were blocked Wednesday afternoon after a serious two-car rollover collision.

1 day ago

auburn apartment shot...

L.B. Gilbert

Man shot at Auburn apartment, police say multiple people involved

A man was left in critical condition after being shot at an Auburn apartment building Tuesday night, according to police.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

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