The border between Canada and the United States remains open only to the passage of essential workers, such as medical personnel, as well as to the flow of goods and services deemed essential. This is while the ban on non-essential travel due to the pandemic continues. (Image: iStock)
Initial talks are underway to lift restrictions along the US-Canada border, according to an official familiar with the matter.
Canadian public broadcaster CBC confirmed that the initial talks between Canada and the United States are taking place at the official level, which means that the politicians, who are ultimately the decision-makers, are not yet directly involved in those talks.
No decision is expected in the short term, the official said, but there is hope to have Positive news as summer progresses, Especially given the increase in vaccination levels in Canada.
The source also warned that overcoming the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic remains the priority for the time being.
Because it is not formally authorized to speak publicly on the matter, CBC has not named the official. Bloomberg News was the first news source to explain those talks on May 14.
A spokesman for Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair indicated that talks between officials to address the border issue are occurring regularly and warned that the current measures could continue for some time.
James Cadmore, Secretary Blair’s director of communications has said that ‘ever since For more than a year, we have implemented important restrictions at our borders to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Canada ».
Every month, the federal government consults with public health officials to understand the necessary adjustments to the current measures on our borders in order to keep our communities safe from Covid-19. In cooperation with our American and international counterparts, we have extended the current procedures until May 21, 2021, and they can be extended again »Damour said.
Secretary Blair is in regular contact with his US counterparts on issues relating to our common borders. Until conditions on both sides of the border change dramatically, measures on our borders will remain in effect. The decision will be made on when and how to reopen the borders in Canada, with the interests of Canadians in mind as a top priority. “
The border between Canada and the United States has been closed to non-essential travel, such as tourism and leisure travel, since March 2020. The border closure agreement between Ottawa and Washington is expected to be renewed on May 21.
The convention allows entry for people for humanitarian purposes, such as attending a funeral or applying for refugee status.
People arriving at Canada’s land border with the United States must undergo a Covid-19 test upon entering the country and a second test after self-isolating at home for 14 days.
Ontario calls for Ottawa to reduce cross-border traffic
On February 22, 2021, the federal government launched new quarantine measures at airports. Going forward, all air travelers returning from non-essential travel abroad will have to isolate themselves at a facility selected by federal authorities for up to 72 hours while they wait for the results of the polymerase chain reaction test, known as the PCR test, to detect Covid-19.
A mandatory three-day quarantine at a federally designated facility can cost up to $ 2,000 per person. In a series of letters sent to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, requested that these measures be expanded to include people entering the country via the land border.
The federal government rejected the request, saying there were 117 entry points Canada shares with the United States, and many are far from hotels.
“The safest and most effective way to manage the situation of people arriving at our borders by land is through the system that we have put in place.”Blair told Canadian CBC on Thursday.
Blair said that Canadians returning overland from the United States are “locked in their cars with their families, and go straight to their homes after the Covid-19 tests to stay in quarantine for two weeks,” It is the safest way to manage the situation of these people ».
Sources: CBC / RCI / RV Adaptation
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