By Grace McCarthy
The Northern Light 

Blaine businesses react to increased Canadian traffic


Last updated 12/9/2021 at 10:04am

Grace McCarthy

Kelle Hagen, Hagen's of Blaine co-owner, welcomes Canadian customers returning to pick up their packages on December 7.

Traffic at the Peace Arch border crossing, vehicles with B.C. license plates filling up at gas stations and parcels being retrieved are signs of returning normalcy to Blaine in the past week. But businesses reliant on Canadian customers say they're unsure what the future holds as the number of Canadian travelers remains lower than before the border closed to nonessential traffic in March 2020.

Brant Baron, owner of Mail Boxes International, said he was delighted to see packages that waited over 1.5 years on his store's shelves to be taken home.

"It's all somewhat of a blur," he said. "It's like being reunited with an old friend or family member."

Baron said last week was the first time the parcel store has had more packages leaving the store than being delivered since the border closed to nonessential travel March 2020, thanks to the Canadian government's decision to drop the Covid-19 test requirement on November 30 for fully vaccinated Canadians traveling into the U.S. for fewer than 72 hours.

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