FDFA applauds end of ‘wrong’ US-Canada land border restrictions

By Kristiane Sherry |

Traffic at land border between US and Canada

The FDFA trade association is hailing the lifting of vaccine restrictions on the US-Canada border.

The Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) is celebrating the end of land border restrictions today (11 May), which required all non-essential travellers into the US to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

According to the trade association, the restrictions were “wrong”, with passengers travelling by air between the two nations not required to show proof of vaccination. 

The FDFA, which represents small, independently-owned land border businesses, is calling on both American and Canadian governments to commit to never restricting the border again.

‘Very slow and disjointed’

In a statement, the FDFA has said both the US and Canadian governments closed the border, changed policies, and then removed restrictions in a “very slow and disjointed way”.

While Canada lifted its vaccine mandate for inbound travellers on 1 October 2022, the United States continued to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination up until today.

FDFA Executive Director says the impact of the border restrictions will be ‘deep and long lasting’.

“While we are thrilled to see this final restriction at the border lifted, the impacts of the land border closure and restrictions are deep and long-lasting on border communities and businesses like ours,” said Barbara Barrett, Executive Director, FDFA. 

“We urge both governments to never let this happen again and to take measures to protect our precious border and the ability for our border communities to thrive. 

“It was wrong that the land border was treated differently than air travel.” 

Border communities and businesses were “disproportionately affected” by the border closure and subsequent restrictions, according to the FDFA.

The trade association says the restrictions stalled recovery for businesses dependent on the flow of traffic between the two nations.

FDFA figures show that average sales at border businesses remain 42% lower than pre-pandemic.  

“We did our part to keep Canadians and Americans safe at the land border,” said Tania Lee, FDFA President.

“Now, we need action to ensure our businesses can thrive again and assurance that we will never endure such a border closure and restrictions again.” 

The FDFA is preparing to host its first in-person Convention since the start of the pandemic, set to take place from 27-30 November.

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