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Higgins marks full reopening of US-Canada border with push to ease travel & grow tourism


Thu, May 11th 2023 08:50 am

US vaccine mandate ends May 11

Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives during National Travel and Tourism Week, calling the end of COVID-19 restrictions at the northern border “a turning point in rebuilding the interconnected relationships and economies communities along the U.S.-Canada border enjoy.”

The U.S. will drop its coronavirus vaccine requirement on Canadians entering the U.S. at the end of the day on May 11, ending three years of what Higgins’ team called “fluctuating travel restrictions.”

A press release noted, “May 7-13 is recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week. Domestic and international travel spending in Congressman Higgins’ Western New York district alone reached $3.1 billion in 2019, but took a serious hit during COVID. While the industry is starting to see a post-pandemic boost, Higgins encouraged further action to help support economic and job growth.”

Higgins went on to say, “Let’s seek out opportunities to encourage and ease travel in the United States. This includes adequately funding federal agencies to support travel, investing in infrastructure, and modernizing NEXUS and passports to improve the travel experience.”

Earlier this year, Higgins introduced the “Make NEXUS Work Act,” a bill his team said would expedite NEXUS processing by allowing for virtual interviews. “He has pushed for adequate staffing and increased technology to improve efficiencies at land ports of entry. And he previously fought for and won the establishment of a U.S. passport office in Buffalo, which has doubled its processing operations and local jobs over the last decade.

“Higgins has also been an advocate for projects and programs that drive tourism in Western New York, including waterfront and community investments, as well as federal support for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.”

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