YOUR STORIES: Guidance unclear amid border reopening confusion

Local News

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– It’s been 20 long and difficult months since Paul and Kathy Kulba have seen their daughter Kelly who lives in Canada. Now they’ll have to miss their granddaughter’s wedding too as the borders remain closed due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“This next weekend we’re going to be on a zoom to see the wedding and I’m sure I’m going to cry through the whole thing,” Kathy Kulba said. “It’s just a special time in her life and I can’t be part of it.” 

When they heard the Canadian border would be opening back on August 9 for non-essential U.S. citizens traveling by land, they were excited, but now that the United States extended its border closure for non-essential travelers to August 21 they’re worried they’ll get stuck in Canada. 

“It’s a freedom we had and just took for granted for so many years and now that it’s taken away from you, you realize what you’re missing,” Paul Kulba said. 

According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada’s website, U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S. are considered essential travelers and would therefore be allowed back in before August 21. 

The Biden administration is facing much criticism from elected officials about pushing back the border opening date to August 21 and in a statement written to NewsChannel 9 Congressman John Katko said:

Central New Yorkers and millions of Americans across the country are rightfully confused by the Biden Administration’s nonsensical decision to extend northern border restrictions until at least August 21st. This decision came only days after Canada announced that fully vaccinated Americans would be allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel beginning August 9th. Under current guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, American citizens returning to the United States from Canada prior to August 21st would be considered as essential travel, however, the guidance continues to prohibit tourists and other nonessential travelers from entering the U.S. The Biden Administration should heed the advice of other elected officials, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, align with Canada’s reopening plans for August 9th, and provide necessary certainty to American families and businesses that depend on cross-border travel.

Congressman John Katko, R-NY 24th District

For more information about entering Canada on August 9, click here

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