Canada And U.S. Look To Extend Ban On Non-Essential Travel

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Canada and the United States are set to extend a ban on non-essential travel that was imposed to fight the coronavirus outbreak, although a final decision has not been taken, informed sources tell Reuters.

The ban, introduced in MAR, has been extended several times and is due to expire on 21JUL. The agreement, as it stands, exempts the flow of trade, temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited. 

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau is expected to make an official announcement this week.

Infections have risen rapidly in about 40 of the 50 U.S. states over the last two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.

U.S. members of Congress are pushing Canada to reopen its shared border. An open letter written by 29 bipartisan members of U.S. Congress calls on the Canadian government to plan a phased reopening of the border and to consider easing existing measures. 

Despite the pressure, the premiers of several Canadian provinces say the border must remain shut.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is one of those opposed to taking any steps toward reopening the border at this time.

“I said very clearly I am not in favour of opening up the borders July 21,” Ford said, according to Canadian Press. “As long as the goods and products are flowing, which they have been (we should keep it closed). I love our American neighbours but not right now. Come and visit us when things cool down, especially south of the border.”

Comments that Open Jaw has received show some Canadian travel advisors also feel reopening the border on the 21JUL due date would be premature.

"Not until they get serious about masks, quarantine," wrote Karen Mauthe in response to a Facebook post.

"Keeping all the borders closed and 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 a 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," commented Debbie.

"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," Bri B wrote.

Canadian citizens are pushing back as well.

"No thank you...clean up your backyard before you attempt to enter ours.. sincerely Canada," wrote a user who goes by the name @MichelletypoQ in response to the open letter written by U.S. Congress, reports CTV News.

Another user, @rachelinTO, wrote that "most of our earliest cases came from the U.S. So...... that's a firm 'no'. Sorry, eh."

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.

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