For border towns and businesses, Monday to bring a welcome return of Americans
MONTREAL -- In the hours before restrictions on crossing the U.S.-Canada border were set to begin easing after 17 months, many on the Quebec side were heaving a sigh of relief.
“It's the best news of the past two years,” said Jean-Pierre Ranger, president of Parc Safari. “The border represents an important percentage of our business at the park.”
The park is just one of many businesses that has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing land border shut down that began in March, 2020.
As of Monday, the Canadian side will begin allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter the country again without requiring them to quarantine. The return of tourists from Canada's southern neighbour has residents in border areas excited for an economic uptick.
“The attractions like Parc Safari in Hemmingford, that's probably going to go crazy, eh?” said Lacolle resident Steve Palstra. “It's because of the exchange rate.”
However, some are still puzzled by the changing rules.
“The stressful part of crossing the border on Monday is the fact they haven't updated their website,” said Laila Bogdanski, a Montrealer who now lives in Ohio.
Bogdanski sai dshe wants to visit her family back home for the first time since the pandemic started, but is holding off to ensure she knows what rules are inp lace.
“The way the rule is now, my soun would have to quarantine for 14 days and, as of Monday, he no longer has to do that,” she said.