U.S. Montana Senator Jon Tester had to wait a few months, but was happy to see the Canadian border re-opened to allow vaccinated travelers into the United States (And Montana). The Biden Administration eased the restrictions Monday, November 8, along with allowing other countries' vaccinated citizens to enter the country.

The problems in Montana with the closed border were mounting over the months of the COVID-19 pandemic - not just on the economic losses for Montana exports but for social contacts, such as families with members on either side of the border. Canada shares the entire northern border of Montana - over 500 miles. In 2018, almost $700 million in goods were exported from the state to Canada.

Tester said in a news release, "The closure of the northern border has hurt Montana businesses and families for too long, and I'm glad to see the Biden Administration answering my calls to reopen the border to vaccinated Canadians. Montana's border towns depend on cross-border trade and travel to support small business and keep folks connected. This reopening is a great step towards full economic recovery, and I'll keep pushing the administration to do right by Montanans."

Tester and fellow Montana Senator Steve Daines have consistently urged the administration to open the border. Canada had relaxed their restrictions earlier this year, but the U.S. had continued to restrict "nonessential travel."

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In another COVID-19 related development, Senator Tester announced $1 million from the American Rescue Plan will help support Montana small businesses. The funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration will be for projects such as workforce training, infrastructure, business recruitment and other economic issues, centered on small business.

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