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New Canadian border regulations expected to boost Thousand Islands tourism

A vehicle enters a Canadian border station at the U.S./Canada border after the two countries closed their border for all non-essential travel in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020.
Lars Hagberg
/
AFP via Getty Images
A vehicle enters a Canadian border station at the U.S./Canada border after the two countries closed their border for all non-essential travel in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020.

Starting April 1, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada.

Corey Fram from the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council said the change is borderline monumental, adding areas like the Thousand Islands have been hit especially hard by the restrictions.

“We chiefly rely on a land-border crossing, and the testing requirement made it very onerous and very cost-prohibitive to make a short haul trip," said Fram.

Fram said many people were drawn to the Thousand Islands destinations throughout the pandemic because they were relatively COVID-19 safe, offering outdoor recreation, open spaces, and low population density. But some places were still hit hard by the border restrictions, particularly marinas and some big-name attractions like Boldt Castle.

Fram thinks loosening those restrictions will help people who live near the border economically and socially.

“Those of us who live in a border community, we're closely tied to our neighbors on the other side of that border,” he said. “Those are our friends. Those are our relatives. Those are our colleagues. And for a lot of us, we haven't been able to visit them now for two years."

Fram said while he's optimistic about the upcoming tourist season, he hopes the relaxed rules at the border will stay in place for the foreseeable future.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.