GRAND FORKS -- The closure of the Canadian border, set to expire July 21, will likely be extended by another 30 days.
According to a July 13 Politico report, the Trump administration will announce the extension, which also includes Mexico, before the current travel ban is set to expire, though details are still being worked out.
This will be the fourth time the border closure has been lengthened, and comes at a time when cases of the coronavirus have been climbing in the U.S. The ban, originally introduced in late March, does not cover trade between the nations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there have been nearly 3.3 million cases of the illness in the U.S., with more than 60,000 new cases added since Monday. More than 134,000 of cases have resulted in death. Canada, however, has largely been able to keep cases of the illness under control. The country has had nearly 110,000 cases of coronavirus, which resulted in nearly 9,000 deaths.
Julie Rygg, executive director of the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the month-by-month nature of the border closings makes it difficult to plan for the future. Rygg said she understands the reason for the closures, but would like to see a long-term plan, with a more definitive reopening date.
“It's difficult when right before it's supposed to open up, we find out that it's going to close again,” Rygg said in an interview Tuesday, July 14.
Rygg said her office would like to plan a “welcome back” campaign for Canadian tourists, but the revolving date of the border closure makes that a challenge.
According to Rygg, a recent poll of residents and businesses in the CVB’s database found that 46% of respondents strongly support visitors from Canada entering the region, with 22% saying they somewhat support the influx. Also, 8% of respondents said they strongly oppose Canadian travelers coming to the state.