Travellers making their way through Aldergrove crossing before the border closure in 2020 (The Star files)

Travellers making their way through Aldergrove crossing before the border closure in 2020 (The Star files)

Aldergrove welcomes back U.S. travellers

Aldergrove crossing reopens for non-essential travel Nov. 8

The United States is set to reopen its border to fully vaccinated travellers.

The border between Aldergrove and the U.S., has been closed since Mar. 21, 2020, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: U.S.-Canadian border closure reportedly could extend through November

Many Aldergrove businesses rely on travellers to keep them busy. Since the border closed, many of those businesses struggled, not knowing what to do without tourists coming and going.

Wally Martin, owner of Princess and Pea Bed and Breakfast said, he was used to seeing hundreds of travellers from the U.S. but when the border closed the house was almost empty.

“we had more than 100 reservations with U.S. travellers, and when the border closed, they all cancelled. We were pretty much empty for three months,” said Martin.

Martin explained, it had a big impact on business.

“It was totally different, we usually fill up with parents coming to visit their kids at school and, we also see a lot of wedding parties but all of those we’re cancelled,” added Martin.

Since the announcement about the border reopening, Martin has already received calls from U.S. travellers wanting to reserve a room.

Border closure didn’t only affect businesses and tourism, but it had a positive affect on truck drivers, crossing for deliveries.

Dave Earl, president of the BC trucking association said, vehicle traffic can build up on busy days which, causes back up.

“The big trucks have a dedicated lane so, there isn’t always a problem with wait times but car traffic can build up, which causes a wait time, so it was nice for drivers to go through fast” said Earl.

The reopening will also affect restaurant workers, as people crossing the border typically look for places to eat or meet with others to visit.

Jodi Steeves, Aldergrove Business Association president, said opening the borders is what these businesses need.

“The opening up of the U.S. land borders will allow families to reconnect, snowbirds to vacation and property owners to check in on their investments bringing some much needed relief to many. We saw the U.S. land visits jump 3 times the first week in August, when Canada opened their borders to the U.S. Increased foot traffic this Christmas season is just what every business needs,” added Steeves.

The community of Aldergrove can expect, busier roads, restaurants and hotels as the border begins to reopen on Nov. 8.

Non-essential travellers crossing the land border will be required to show proof of vaccination but, unlike air travellers, people will not be required to show a negative COVID test.

By January, essential travellers crossing the border will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Families separated by B.C. border restrictions are again meeting ‘in the ditch’ on roads along the border

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