Home Travel Trudeau Hints When Canada-U.S. Border Will Reopen (It’s Not Good News)

Trudeau Hints When Canada-U.S. Border Will Reopen (It’s Not Good News)

by SharonKurheg

They’re the words we all knew had gone unsaid since the U.S.-Canada border closed in March, but now Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau has spoken them out loud.

Essentially, Canada will not reopen the border to nonessential travel until the U.S. has COVID under control.

“The U.S. is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he told the hosts of “The Start” radio show. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place.”

The border, which originally closed on March 21, has been reviewed for reopening every month and each time it’s been agreed by federal officials on both sides that it will remain closed due to the continued threat of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. However some officials on the U.S. side, especially those from border states, have said they would like the border to reopen for non-essential travel, mainly due to economic reasons.

“The protracted closure of the world’s longest international land border to all but essential travel has put immense strain on the communities that straddle the border,” senators from Maine and New Hampshire recently wrote to president Trump.

Said president recently told reporters that, “we’re looking at the border with Canada” and “we’re going to be opening the borders pretty soon.”

However Trudeau made it clear in his radio interview that Canada, with cases nowhere near the numbers of those in the U.S., has had no intention of allowing vast numbers of U.S. residents to enter their country until their neighbors to the south show a significant decrease in COVID-19.

Canada did loosen its international travel restrictions last month, to allow more travel back and forth between the border, albeit under specific circumstances. Shopping and tourism are, obviously, not included under those circumstances and this is what’s happening to those who try.

Trudeau also had a special word of warning for Canadians who are “snowbirds” and typically stay in southern U.S. states for the winter:

“I know there’s a lot of people worried about what’s happening south of the border in Florida, Arizona, California and other places where the virus is not under control or less under control than we are here,” said Trudeau. “The challenges around the health care system being overloaded down there and access to health insurance – making sure you have coverage in case something does happen – are a lot more difficult.

“Ultimately, if someone chooses to travel, we’re not going to keep them imprisoned in Canada. There’s freedom of movement in this country,” he continued. “Still, people have to recognize they’re putting themselves at risk, putting their loved ones at risk. And they may not have the right kind of health insurance or repatriation flights that we did early on if they choose to leave the country.”

Feature Photo (cropped): Jimmy Emerson, DMV / flickr

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


iv October 16, 2020 - 12:41 pm

I agree… The US has reported more cases in the last 3 days than Canada has since the pandemic started.

Darrell October 21, 2020 - 11:24 am

This isn’t really a fair statistic. It is more a gut feeling than anything meaningful. There is information on population and actual cases. Comparing covid-19 cases for USA, with a population of 331,606,522 people and Canada with a population of 37,845,528 and not adjusting for population is really misleading.

I see a lot of news outlets doing this because fear sells. But I really don’t believe we should be accepting this. The numbers adjusting for population are pretty bad. We don’t have to just compare the raw numbers.

SharonKurheg October 21, 2020 - 11:32 am

Huh? Florida has 21+M people and has had 760K cases. Canada has 37+M and has had 204K cases. How’s that?

derek October 16, 2020 - 7:36 pm

Canada should at least let American in if they quarantine. Justin is a hypocrite for letting Canadians go the US but closes the border to others. Hawaii has fewer cases than the Covid-19 cesspool of Quebec or even Canada, in general.

Canada has had nearly 10,000 deaths. That is not low. If Canada was the population of the US, that would be about 100,000 dead which is only about half the US. Washington state is 7 million or 1/4 the population of Canada but 800 dead (or 1/3 the Covid-19 death rate of Canada).

Darrell October 21, 2020 - 11:19 am

Canada has had 9,849 deaths, right now. The USA has approximately 8.76 more people. So 9,849 * 8.76 would be 86277 people. The USA has 221,122 deaths, right now. That is 2.56 times more deaths. That is a significant reason to worry about Americans entering Canada.

Additionally, cherrypicking a state within the USA isn’t realistic. There were typically a handful of flights between Canada and Washington state, before the pandemic. When I looked for flights between Toronto and Florida, before the pandemic, I could find dozens flights every day of the week. In other words, there is a big demand for people traveling between Florida and Canada. Florida is a hotspot. Canada can’t safely say they are opening the border to certain states. I have heard Americans on social media talking about how to fly from Dallas to a less hot area than to a foreign country. So everyone knows people will game the system.


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