Canadian snowbirds preparing for the reopening of US land borders

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
FILE: United States border crossing

It’s been 19 months since our Canadian neighbors have been able to visit their vacation homes and now the borders to the north will soon be reopening to visitors.

The ground border reopening and restrictions lifting on international air travel means you can expect to see more traffic come November.

It also means big bucks for Southwest Florida.

And for Canadian snowbirds, seeing this sign means returning to their home away from home.

The beach is the first place Brad Williams and his wife are headed when the Canadian border reopens. They say the thing they miss the most is the weather.

But the weather isn’t the only thing they miss. They miss sunsets, nights out with friends and riding around in a golf cart.

They miss their second home. Brad Williams said, “soon as covid started, we left and came back to Canada got it across the border the day before it closed. And consequently, sold the house because I didn’t know when we’d be back. We were very comfortable we made a lot of acquaintances in the neighborhood, and we still keep in touch with them. And yeah, it was a sad day.”

But they said they will soon return after the Biden administration announced this week that the ground border will reopen next month.

Collier County Tourism Director and Executive Director of the Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB, Paul Beirnes said it is something many are looking forward to. “International surge and pent-up demand has been told to us which is off the charts we are really excited to see that come to fruition in November.”

Beirnes said more international travelers mean longer stays, and more money for the county. “We do suspect that Q1 2022 will be pretty exceptional when it comes to international visitation.”

There are still some question marks, like an exact date for the border to reopen. But Canadian snowbird Williams already has a plan. “So we’re planning on coming down on November the second. So hopefully, that’ll all work out.”

The Biden administration says everyone who crosses the border into the U.S. Must be vaccinated.

Williams said both he and his wife are vaccinated and ready. He’s just waiting for the date so they can come back to their winter home.

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