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Discussion: US-Canada border closed to land crossings

in: MNOC Masters Nationals (Oct 9–10 - Onamia, MN, US)

Sep 20, 2021 6:44 PM # 
Unfortunately the US government announced today that the US border will remain closed to land crossing from Canada.

I’m only hours away from Minnesota and will greatly miss driving to the MNOC Masters Nationals.

I’ll look into flights, which will complicate things.
Sep 20, 2021 8:53 PM # 
That is so unfortunate. Hope you can find a reasonably cheap flight.
Sep 21, 2021 12:08 AM # 
You think that's unfortunate, at least you still have orienteering events operating.
Sep 21, 2021 6:34 PM # 
Well as it turns out I can drive there faster than flying. Plus driving is much cheaper. Our past road trips to Minnesota were under $200 for fuel.
Flights are basically $1000 for each of us. Add to that a car rental and Covid test fees and more complicated travel and camping. It gets more challenging when flying. I cancelled our state park campsite. Didn’t book any flight.
Yes, in 2 weeks it’s the Manitoba Orienteering Championship so I’ll still get in some exciting orienteering.
Sep 21, 2021 9:51 PM # 
So sorry to hear that. Not surprised, unfortunately.
Sep 22, 2021 2:57 AM # 
This is really getting ridiculous; the act of crossing that artificial land border is SO much riskier than the in-country travel between states or provinces, or even between towns...

Aside question; does anybody know what the status is for people who happen to live in what I think they call the northwest angle - that little chunk of Minnesota that is only accessible by land thru Manitoba?
Sep 22, 2021 2:03 PM # 
There is a fairly credible theory making the rounds that the reason the highly infected/ lowly vaccinated US is keeping the land border from lowly infected/ highly vaccinated Canada closed to non-essential travel is that taking advantage of the initial closure and responding to immediate need the US moved much of their staff to the Mexico border and now are short of staff for the land crossing from Canada.
Sep 22, 2021 4:28 PM # 
The indication from Canadian investigative journalists trying to get an answer from the US administration that is not complete BS also relates to the Mexican border. There seems to be a feeling among some that politically the US can't currently open the land border with Mexico and there's a segment that takes the view that opening it with Canada and not opening it with Mexico could be depicted as racist.

Unfortunately, it appears that the US was, in fact, ready to open the border back in June, but Canada wasn't willing to go along with it at the time. It wasn't until about late May that the vaccine supply to Canada started to really ramp up and few Canadians were fully vaccinated by the beginning of June.
Sep 22, 2021 4:44 PM # 
@mike: The Canadian border is open to vaccinated non-Canadians, so US citizens are allowed to drive to Canada and return home, assuming they can show the requisite paperwork. That said, from a quick google map scan of that Minn angle area I see only 1 road crossing in that section of the border and no buildings or structures anywhere nearby. Just a sign that states that you have to report in to the authorities at a videophone 8 miles ahead. But it also says you are exempt from that requirement if you hold an RABC (remote area border crossing) permit and have no goods to declare. (Yes, someone posted a photo of the sign.) Additionally there's an airport shown in that angle territory.
Sep 23, 2021 1:29 AM # 
Thanks fossil, the only time that I visited that border, many years ago, there was no videophone. If I remember correctly, the sign then said something about reporting your crossing to the staffed border checkpoint at Middlebro/Longworth.
Sep 23, 2021 8:23 PM # 
Maybe the US border is closed to Canadians to protect Canadians from the higher rate of infection in the US.
Sep 24, 2021 1:04 AM # 
Maybe the border is closed because the US wants to stop Canadian political moderateness seeping in. I mean even your conservative party leader was supporting stricter gun laws.

While not a huge fan of Justin Trudeaux you could do a whole lot worse - and congratulations to Canada (in this age of rampant populism) on not electing anyone from the far right Peoples Party.
Sep 24, 2021 2:40 AM # 
I would be very careful about letting Canadians in. They are on the side of Queen of England, that is against America. Remember they once burned down the White House.
Sep 24, 2021 7:54 AM # 
Re: Mexico...

Is Mexico's border with the US open?
How does MEX compare to CAN in terms of vaxx rate?
Sep 24, 2021 12:59 PM # 
% of TOTAL population fully vaccinated

Canada - 71%
US - 55%
Mexico - 34%

Keeping borders closed allows the long used narrative in the US to continue to 'blame Canada'
Sep 24, 2021 2:09 PM # 
Are there available statistics for % vaccinated of those who are eligible?
Sep 24, 2021 2:52 PM # 
Just like we blame NSW for bringing the virus to Victoria.
Sep 24, 2021 4:04 PM # 
Sep 24, 2021 5:23 PM # 
% of eligible individuals fully vaccinated:
Canada - 80%
US - 64%

In Canada no eligible age group has a full vaccination rate lower than 68% (for 18-29 year olds). The full vaccination rate in Canada for 12-17 year olds, who became eligible much later, is 73%.

I didn't find the comparable number for Mexico.
Sep 24, 2021 7:56 PM # 
34% vs 71% would appear to be pretty good cover for opening the border with Canada, but not Mexico.
Sep 24, 2021 9:11 PM # 
I'm still going with if it is not a vaccination rate issue it must be a US Border Service staffing availability rate issue. Americans get your press and politicians to ask the right questions.
Sep 25, 2021 11:56 AM # 
Before entering Canada at any border point visitors must submit ArriveCAN, an online document where you enter information like an alternative address in case you need to quarantine while in the country, vaccine and negative covid test info, etc. At the border the agent brings it up and cross checks the information with that on your passport. You also have to present hard copies of your vaccination and test status. My husband and I crossed a few weeks ago and it was quick and easy. As far as I know, the US has no similar pre-clearance system in place. Air travellers have to present negative test results to airline personnel before boarding, which relieves border guards of this responsibility upon their arrival in the US. I've read that the US is reluctant to open the land border until they have such a system in place because of the extra time it would take to check visitors' covid test results (there is no vaccination requirement to enter the US at present).
Sep 26, 2021 3:41 AM # 
Blaming Canada for everything is not right. We have some very bad people in here already. I know a woman, and her husband, from Arkansas -- pure evil.
Sep 26, 2021 4:18 AM # 
Canada might be open to Americans, but there are certainly a LOT of hoops to jump through...
Sep 26, 2021 4:40 AM # 
Canadians have to jump through the same hoops on returning to Canada.
Sep 26, 2021 1:45 PM # 
If the problem is insufficient US government manpower, there's a cost to it: "The U.S. Travel Association said the ongoing closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico is costing U.S. businesses an estimated $1.5 billion a month in "travel exports," which the association defines as spending by foreign residents while visiting the U.S."
Sep 26, 2021 3:03 PM # 
The latest news from the US is that it will have a full vaccination requirement for entry by travellers as of early November, which according to the CDC currently means two of the same for AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer, with Health Canada saying they are in talks with the US about accepting mixed vaccines, which applies to a significant portion of the Canadian population because of variations over time of the supply availability in Canada. The CDC says mixing mRNA is full vaccination "in exceptional circumstances", which essentially means unavailability of the first mRNA vaccine.

But what does that mean? The week I first became eligible for my second dose the Pfizer supply (which had been my first dose) dropped way down and the Moderna supply shot up. I was able to book Moderna as my second dose within a day or two in order to get it 7-8 weeks after my first dose. The earliest I could find to book Pfizer as a second dose in my area would have been after another 5 weeks. Then right after I got my second dose, Canada's Chief Medical Doctor said she had done the same thing, a Moderna second dose after a Pfizer first dose. AZ followed by an mRNA vaccine, which lots of Canadians have, is not accepted in the US at all, event though studies are indicating that it's more effective than two doses of AZ.

I expect this will resolve itself in the next few weeks, either by the CDC deciding to accept mixed doses as qualifying for full vaccination or Ontario following the lead of Quebec and some of the other provinces in making residents who have received mixed doses eligible to receive a third dose for travel purposes now that supply is plentiful.

I note that large numbers of Canadians enter the US every day, not for the purpose of visiting the US, but because they are in transit flying to other countries.

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