US keeps ban on nonessential border crossings to slow COVID

Peninsula Daily News

and Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A decision by the U.S. government to extend a ban on nonessential travel along the border with Canada and Mexico is “extremely disappointing,” said a co-owner of the Black Ball Ferry Line, which has not be able to run the Coho ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria since mid-March 2020.

Ryan Malane, vice president of marketing and co-owner of Black Ball commented Friday on the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement made earlier that day.

The department gave notice in a tweet Friday that the restrictions on nonessential travel were still needed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant.

It extended the ban until at least Sept. 21.

“We had hoped for an opportunity to return to service for at least the last part of the summer season,” Malane said in an email.

“This is the longest period of time this route has remain closed in over 100 years.”

Canada opened its border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens as of Aug. 9, but the Coho cannot return to service until both nations authorize travel over the border, Malane has said.

Rep. Derek Kilmer of the 6th Congressional District and others representing U.S. border communities have urged the Biden administration to lift the ban, which has been in place since early in the pandemic in March 2020 and repeatedly extended while allowing commercial traffic and essential crossings to continue.

DHS said it is working with public health and medical experts to determine how to “safely and sustainably resume normal travel.”

The crew of the Coho, which is docked at Port Angeles, “has done an exceptional job of maintaining the ship over the last 18 months,” Malane said.

“The Coho remains ready to sail.

“We look forward to a full, bilateral reopening of the border and a return to service. “

Malane said officials continue to work with local, state and federal governments regarding financial assistance for Black Ball Ferry Line.

”We can’t say enough about how appreciative we are for all of their support,” he said. “We have repeatedly been told how important they feel Black Ball Ferry Line is to the community.

“No one expected this to last as long as it has.”

More in News

Officials brace for sixth wave of COVID-19

Effects could be mitigated with proper precautions

Newspaper carrier sues county over sheriff’s actions

A newspaper carrier confronted by Pierce County… Continue reading

Port Townsend residents Corbin Meyers, 5, and his mother Laura enjoy the Mountain View Pool in Port Townsend on Tuesday morning. The pool reopened to the public on Monday. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Townsend pool reopens under YMCA management

Fours hour a day Monday through Friday

Federal judge rejects bid to stop vaccine mandate

A federal judge in Eastern Washington on Monday denied a… Continue reading

Duane Miles
Search continues for Beaver man missing in park

A search underway in Olympic National Park for a… Continue reading

Jeffery Evalt of Sequim and his dog Rex look for agates and other interesting rocks along the shore of Sequim Bay as wind-driven waves churn behind him on Tuesday. Blustery winds, the remnants of a strong storm system that visited the region on Sunday and Monday, rolled across the bay, pushing water against the shoreline. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Choppy waters

Jeffery Evalt of Sequim and his dog Rex look for agates and… Continue reading

FILE - Kim Wyman, Washington state's Secretary of State, poses for a photo on Sept. 15, 2020, in Olympia, Wash. The Republican secretary of state who challenged former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud in 2020 is the frontrunner for a job heading the Biden administration's effort to protect future elections. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
GOP election chief who rejects fraud claims up for fed job

By Colleen Long, Rachel La Corte and Eric Tucker The Associated Press… Continue reading

Volunteer nurse Karen Easterly-Behrens of Port Ludlow, left, talks with Eliana Rose of Port Townsend at Saturday’s Pfizer booster clinic at Quilcene School. The county Department of Emergency Management worked with dozens of volunteers to organize the clinic. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Long-term care facility resident dies of COVID-19

Woman in her 90s was in vulnerable population, health officer says

Most Read