Ottawa Won't Lift U.S. Travel Restrictions Despite AC Plea, Says Morneau

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Finance Minister Bill Morneau

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he doesn't expect Canada to lift travel restrictions with the U.S. any time soon, BNN Bloomberg reports. 

His comments come after Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu criticized the restrictions for stifling both the airline sector and the country's economy.

Last month, as part of the Canadian Tourism Roundtable, Rovinescu and dozens of business leaders in the Canadian travel and tourism industries sent an open letter imploring federal and provincial governments to ease travel restrictions.

The U.S. and Canada closed their border for non-essential travel on 21MAR, shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. 

Morneau said he understands the airline sector has been "hit in a very challenging" way, but that Canada won't be changing its approach, and opening the border would create "additional risk" for Canadians. 

"I hear the challenges, we understand them, but what we won't be doing is changing our approach, which we think will protect our health, in any way that's inappropriate," Morneau told BNN Bloomberg. 

"Clearly, we have a real challenge south of the border right now and we don't believe that changing the travel restrictions in a way that creates additional risk will be prudent at this time." 

In line with Morneau's cautionary approach, British Columbia's Dr. Bonnie Henry, said she "cannot see" vacation travel happening between Canada and the United States this summer, reports CTVNews.

That thought was echoed by B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, who said residents shouldn't expect to be able to book leisure travel anytime soon, especially because the virus is so widespread in American communities.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Debbie - July 13, 2020 @ 10:13
Keeping all the borders closed U.S and international travel closed is needed to protect our population as Covid continues to spike in many countries. Unfortunately a number of airlines including Air Canada have been flying to the U.S. regularly. You can fly to any number of cities, clients have flown from Ottawa to Vancouver to Seattle a number of times during the past 5 months. On the return they do an connection flight and don't have to isolate until they reach home. Closed borders should be just that CLOSED. These are not essential travel trips.

Tom Polacco - July 10, 2020 @ 09:50
I agree whole heartedly.I hope Canada keeps the borders closed except for essential travel.I work in the travel industry and have lost my job like so many others but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Erin Hiill - July 9, 2020 @ 17:33
Agreed! Canadians can either travel in our own country to support the economy or go to Europe where certain countries are opening and also not allowing American travelers in.

John rivera - July 9, 2020 @ 15:00
US and Canada has no trades talks

Bri B - July 9, 2020 @ 14:35
The Canada/US border should only be opened when the US as a whole has flattened the curve to the same degree that Canada has done.

Corenz - July 9, 2020 @ 14:30
Please do not open up the border until the COVID cases go down a lot, we're all in the same boat here and don't want more people to die. Our industry will be back in time.

Michael K - July 9, 2020 @ 13:57
I completely agree, keep the US border closed. We need to get international travel going though and lift the 14 day self isolation upon arrival. Travel advisories need to be lifted so we can insure our clients as well.

Cecelia - July 9, 2020 @ 13:36
Keep US closed but open international travel .

cheryl - July 9, 2020 @ 13:31
Applaud our federal government for protecting Canadians. Leisure travel between Canada and the USA is much too dangerous with the volume of COVID cases in the States. Be safe, be calm and be patient. We will come out on the other side, however not for some time. Which unfortunately translates to our industry peers suffering financially, but let's get creative on how to help.

Bonnie Kamstra - July 9, 2020 @ 13:16
Travellers could have a medical certificate showing they tested negative for the virus, isolate for the required amount of time, have a plan where to stay, be required to check in or have someone check on them and follow all the rules in place in Canada. Border health officials could be on site to help border guards. This would help the economy, the border guards and ease stress and improve mental health.

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