There are a lot of rumors going around that Canadians may soon be relaxing the regulations, at least for Americans who have been fully immunized. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will wait until 75% of Canadians have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine before opening the border, which, at the current rate, could be in July. This week, he said his government was working on a gradual easing of border restrictions but still did not give a date.
The pressure has been mounting to open the border now, at least to fully vaccinated travelers, both Americans and Canadians who fear losing the value of another summer of US tourist dollars. A panel of experts convened by Ottawa recently advised the government to start differentiating between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated at the border. In the United States, politicians along the northern border – including Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from upstate New York who has become a major Trumpian voice in Congress – called on the Biden administration to begin unilaterally relax these border restrictions.
Imposing certain safeguards, like proof of vaccination and up-to-date negative coronavirus tests, is fine, although cards issued for vaccination are pathetically easy to copy and vaccine passports are only available in a handful of places. States.
What’s infuriating since the border was first closed on March 21, 2020 – by consent between Canada and the United States – is that the closure has been renewed month to month, apparently without much discussion. on the conditions that would allow the doors to be reopened. Commercial traffic was never blocked, reflecting the fact that at least before the pandemic some $ 1.6 billion in goods crossed the border daily, but almost all other types – including in particular owner travel. – were banned because they were not essential.
There is no doubt that closing the border was the right thing to do then. Every country was scrambling to control the highly contagious coronavirus, and the United States under the Trump administration was doing a particularly lousy job with it. Moreover, it is easy to imagine that Mr. Trudeau took additional pleasure in blocking travel from a country whose rude president had called him “very dishonest and weak” and had done everything possible to. to humiliate and belittle Canada, in effect using national security to slap punitive tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel. These things are not easily forgiven or forgotten; just watch Mr. Trudeau’s YouTube clip taking 21 seconds to answer a question about Mr. Trump in June 2020.