Along Canada’s boundary, cross-border hockey rivalries were upended by the travel restrictions. Churches that had members on both sides of the border were suddenly cut off from each other.
But on Monday, border traffic quickly returned.
At Vermont’s busiest international crossing with Canada, U.S. border agents said they began to notice the uptick in border crossing shortly after midnight. By mid-morning, traffic appeared steady.
Travelers at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York, one of the northern border’s busiest crossings, found a 2½-hour wait at 2 a.m., officials said, though within a few hours traffic was flowing more freely. The bridge typically handles about 2 million passenger vehicles from Fort Erie, Ontario, yearly, many of them bound for the region’s shopping malls, ski slopes and sporting events. Volume dropped by more than 90% during the pandemic.
River Robinson’s American partner wasn’t able to be in Canada for the birth of their baby boy 17 months ago. She was thrilled to hear about the U.S. reopening and planned to take the child to the U.S. for Thanksgiving.
It’s “crazy to think he has a whole other side of the family he hasn’t even met yet,” said Robinson, who lives in St. Thomas, Ontario.
Airlines are preparing for a surge in activity — especially from Europe — after the pandemic and resulting restrictions caused international travel to plunge.