As of Monday, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens were allowed to travel into Canada. St. Stephen, a town near the American border, has forgotten how it looks like to have foreign visitors after so many months of quarantine and restrictions.
Ada Dempsey, the owner of Something’s Brewing Cafe in St. Stephen, was surprised with the number of Americans who visited her business on Monday.
“We’re a little cafe right off the border, so for many of them, we were the first stop in Canada. So it was super cool. They were very happy, and yes, it’s been great, at least for our business.”
On Monday, Americans were allowed to visit Canada for the first time since the border crossings were closed last year. In order to visit their northern neighbour, Americans have to be fully vaccinated 14 days before entering and must submit their travel information (that includes vaccination documents and proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of arrival).
Ada Dempsey is pleased to see more guests arriving at her café.
“We needed this — all of us. We’re happy that they are able to come across the border. We have our regulars and we’re very happy and grateful to them, but again, being a border town, we do need the business from the States as well.”
Jeff McShane, manager of Ganong Chocolatier Retail, is also hoping that American visitors will boost his business:
“Probably the first wave will be more people coming to see their families before it gets back to, you know, the regular tourist driving by. So we’re hoping, you know, we’ll definitely see those folks streaming back into our retail store and through the chocolate museum as well, and, you know, increase some foot traffic for both locations.”