EUREKA — It was a momentous day Monday for many border towns across the state of Montana as Canada officially opened their border for non-essential travel for the first time since March of 2020.
A steady stream of cars trickled up to the border crossing at the Port of Roosville just north of Eureka on Monday morning for the first time in more than 16 months.
All American citizens can now travel into Canada for non-essential travel if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before entering the country.
Fully vaccinated travelers will be exempt from quarantine once entering Canada, however, Canadians are still prohibited from driving across the border into the U.S. for non-essential travel until at least August 21.
First and Last Chance Bar and Duty-Free Store Manager Sheryl Hostutler said her business won’t see any kind of sudden uptick in customers until both borders are open for non-essential travel.
“I don’t see it to be getting to near normal until next summer, at all,” Hostutler tells MTN News.
She said the duty-free business has been non-existent since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Duty-free went to almost zero because you can’t cross the border, and it’s summertime, this is our busy time to get us through the winter and the last two summers absolutely no traffic,” said Hostutler.
She added support from residents at the bar is the only reason the business has been able to stay open the last 16 months: “Thank God for our locals, they really supported us very well, they’re awesome."
People entering Canada for non-essential travel will need to show proof of vaccination. People who try to falsify documentation could be fined or denied entry into Canada at a future date.