US and Canada Negotiating Extension of Travel Restrictions – June 9, 2020

Posted on: June 9th, 2020
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Politico is reporting on the expiration of the current travel restrictions between the US and Canada which are expiring on June 22nd. Canada is interested in the restrictions continuing (not surprising given how bad the US response to COVID has been), but some loosening is expected. Here’s what Politico is saying:

Canadian and U.S. governments must decide before June 22 whether to extend, amend or end land border restrictions — a Covid-19 response that is splitting families, disrupting tourism and upending life in border towns.

Even with its provinces reopening, Canada is expected to push for maintaining restrictions on cross-border travel to all but essential travel. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that border officials will begin admitting immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents — but those travelers will be required to observe a 14-day quarantine, and thus must be able to stay in Canada for at least 15 days.

Ottawa’s response comes after reports of spouses being separated, including stories of partners afraid of missing the birth of a child. Some families have had to be creative, meeting in places where little but a ditch divides the nations.

Even with Canada’s easing of family separation, the decision by the two countries, which share the largest nonmilitarized land border in the world, will set the course for the coming months. The border’s closure has had limited effects on trade, but affects workers who live in one country and have employment in the other and has ground tourism to a halt.