Are the days of the ArriveCAN app numbered? A congressman from upstate New York suspects it could be them.
In a move that would open up tourism at the Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls land border crossings, as well as air travel from Mississauga’s Pearson Airport and Hamilton’s John Munro Airport, the American broadcaster pointed out that in June the Canadian extended Federal government many of their COVID-19 restrictions until at least September 30.
To date, both Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop have called for ArriveCAN to be discontinued, saying it is hurting the tourism market in their cities.
That’s next Friday. So far, there has been no word from Ottawa that the controversial app might be dropped.
But a New York Congressman Brian Higgins, who has been vocal in his criticism of many of the border’s COVID policies, hopes they will soon come to an end.
According to Higgins, there is a lot of momentum on both the Canadian and American sides to end mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app.
“The hope is that it will end mandatory ArriveCAN and make it voluntary if people choose to use it but aren’t required to use it,” says Higgins.
To enter Canada now, travelers must use the app and enter their vaccination certificate and other information up to 72 hours before crossing the North border.
Higgins told numerous American media outlets that he had met with some of his Canadian colleagues to discuss the need to remove barriers at border crossings to encourage travel and tourism.
Last week, members of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group encouraged the Canadian government to make ArriveCAN voluntary.
“These COVID restrictions, which continue to hamper cross-border movement, are a major concern and traffic between borders has dropped by around 40 per cent, so it’s absolutely vital that we return to a sense of normality. (I think) 86 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated and I think we’re moving into a management mode on COVID,” Higgins said.
Higgins told the station he would also like to see the rest of the restrictions, such as B. random tests at the border, will also be lifted on September 30th.
“That’s to be hoped for, and so is vaccination,” Higgins said. “Again, 86 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated. It’s a lower percentage for the United States, but it’s still very, very high. And I hope all COVID restrictions are lifted.”
As for the Canadian government, which only resumed Parliament today, there have been no announcements, but the issue needs to be raised before September 30th.