North Sound News

Families divided by border closure, watch reopening plans

Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter to the secretary of state and secretary of Homeland Security, asking them to reopen the U.S.- Canada Border.

“Washington State has taken a science-based approach to the pandemic and has enacted public health measures that prioritize safety and protect the lives of Washingtonians.  Because of rising vaccination rates, Washington State has a plan to reopen our economy statewide by June 30,” wrote Inslee.

The border has been closed for 15 months during the pandemic to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cynthia Boyd, of Auburn, is paying close attention to the potential reopening. Her parents live in Vancouver, B.C.

“For me, personally, the hardest has been that I haven’t been able to go see my parents. It is so close. It is just a three-hour drive, and I could be at their apartment,” said Boyd.

“It’s been very difficult. We were used to zipping across the border,” said Fran Boer, Boyd’s mom.

Now, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hinting at a summer reopening.

“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, though. We are looking at how we’re going to start welcoming up tourists in a phased way as the numbers come down in Canada and as the numbers start to come down in the U.S.,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting with St. John’s Board of Trade on Monday.

The current U.S.- Canada border closure order expires June 21, though it has been renewed month by month through the pandemic.

“To make sure that reopening doesn’t put anyone at risk, but also gives Canadians and Canadian tourism operators the best possible summer after a long, hard year,” said Trudeau.

Proof of vaccination, testing and quarantining are expected to be a part of the opening plan.

That isn’t a problem for Boyd and her family. Her dad served as a missionary in Nigeria for  30 years.

“For many, many years, we had to have a document with us to indicate we were inoculated for smallpox, yellow fever, so that’s nothing new to us,” said John Boer.

Comments on this article