Maine’s congressional delegation and Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday called on federal officials to reopen the border with Canada.

The statements came after the Canadian government said it would open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, while the U.S. government said it will extend its restrictions on Canadian entry into the U.S. until at least Aug. 21. The Canadian government said travelers who meet vaccination requirements will not be required to quarantine after arrival in Canada.

“Many Maine communities that rely on Canadian customers have been challenged and families who live on either side of the border have been unable to see their loved ones for over a year,” the state’s congressional delegation said Wednesday in a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security.

The letter from Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden said Mayorkas should develop an “immediate plan” to allow Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the U.S.

Mills echoed the delegation, saying that continuing to keep the border closed harms ties between the two countries, “hurts local economies and separates families, particularly in northern and eastern Maine.”

Mills said she understands concerns about the spread of COVID-19, “but vaccines are now available and Canada’s vaccination rate now exceeds that of the United States. The time has come for the U.S. government to safely open the border.”

The U.S. and Canada agreed in March 2020 to ban nonessential travel between the two countries. Canada’s announced reopening to U.S. travelers on Aug. 9 means U.S. citizens who meet the vaccination requirements will be able to travel to Canada in less than three weeks, but the ban on Canadians traveling to the U.S. will stay in place for at least another month.

To travel into Canada, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents must be asymptomatic and present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of a flight to Canada or arrival at a land crossing.

Travelers will also have to provide proof of having received a full series of an authorized vaccine at least two weeks prior to departure to Canada. The proof can be uploaded to Canada’s ArriveCan app or website and travelers will also need to present an original copy of the vaccination report, Canadian officials said.

Children under 12 who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated and who are traveling with fully vaccinated parents will also be exempt from quarantine requirements. Canadian officials are urging children to avoid group settings, such as camps or day-care centers, for the first 14 days after arrival. They will also have to take coronavirus tests on the first and eighth days after entering the country.

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