Canada border restrictions lifting just in time for Høstfest

Norsk Høstfest
Norsk Høstfest(KMOT)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – News that Canada would be lifting its COVID-19 restrictions to enter that country could prove timely for Norsk Høstfest.

The Høstfest was canceled the past two years due to the pandemic, but in pre-pandemic years, many Canadians with Scandinavian heritage would cross the border into North Dakota to spend the week in Minot for the festival.

The lifting of the requirements goes into effect Saturday, Oct. 1, the last day of the Høstfest, when many Canadians visiting Minot would likely begin traveling back north.

This week, it was reported that Canada would no longer require those traveling into the country to be fully vaccinated or to upload their personal information into the ArriveCAN smartphone app.

Leadership with Visit Minot said they’ve been keeping in contact with Canadian travelers, and understood the impact the ArriveCAN app had on travel.

“It’s because it was just cumbersome. It required Canadians to put in information. And it wasn’t as user-friendly. So, it gave them a good reason to not come down because it was difficult to use it to be able to go back,” said Stephanie Schoenrock, Visit Minot executive director.

Schoenrock said that, since restrictions started easing last October, they’ve seen a boost in travel from Canada, but it’s yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.

“The truth is we’re still not getting Canadians back to Minot like we had pre-pandemic, but we are seeing more with every restriction lifted, and so we’re optimistic that with this latest restriction that we will even see more of our Canadian friends,” she said.

This comes as the Governors of North Dakota and Montana and the Premiers of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta penned a letter to President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking them to restore pre-pandemic hours at border crossings.