MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Political leaders from across northern New England on Wednesday praised plans by the Biden Administration to begin allowing people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States across the land border with Canada.

The Department of Homeland Security announced late Tuesday that both the Canadian and Mexican borders would reopen early next month. It did not provide a specific date.

Officials across the region have for months been calling for the reopening of the border to non-essential travel, including tourism and family visits.

In a statement, Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott called the move “a significant step forward on the path from pandemic to endemic management of COVID-19.”

“Vermont and Canada are not just neighbors, our communities are linked by family, friends, social and cultural connections, natural resources, commerce and more,” Scott said.

New Hampshire Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen also praised the announcement.

“This is a win for families who’ve been separated and businesses and tourism industries whose operations have been blocked since the start of the pandemic,” Shaheen said in a statement.

Maine independent Sen. Angus King said it was good to see the White House “creating a consistency in travel policy.”

(Copyright (c) 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox