Canada Wants to Work with U.S. to Close Travel ‘Loophole’
The US-Canada border remains closed and all nonessential travel is prohibited until at least February 21. But, in the 10 months since the border restrictions were put in place, hundreds of thousands of travelers have traveled between the two countries. That’s because air travel has not been subject to the same restrictions. Most of the travelers have been family members making the trip to visit relatives on either side of the border.
“A loophole, frankly, does exist because the Americans previously had not placed any restriction on international flights coming into the U.S.,” said Bill Blair, Canada’s public safety minister, during a news conference Friday, as per CTV News.
For now, anyone arriving in Canada must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the previous 72 hours and go into a 14-day quarantine. But the Canadian government is looking to find more ways to discourage international travel, and a new agreement with the U.S. government would be a big help.
“We could be bringing in new measures that significantly impede your ability to return to Canada, at any given moment, without warning,” Trudeau said during a news conference Friday, adding that “this is not the time to travel either internationally or across the country.”
Canada and the U.S. have the world’s longest shared border, which extends 5,525 miles. Before the pandemic, almost 30,000 trucks, 140,000 cars and roughly 300,000 people made the crossing every day. While commercial traffic is getting close to pre-pandemic levels, leisure travel is expected to lag behind for months to come.