U.S. and Canada announce COVID-19 border closure prolonged until finally at least Feb. 21

Jan. 12—The United States and Canada have prolonged the closure of the border to non-necessary travel concerning the two countries right up until Feb. 21 in an continuing energy to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19, according to tweets Tuesday from the two sides of the border.

All essential vacation, this kind of as that for trade involving the nations, will carry on as typical.

The closure was set to expire Jan. 21 before Canadian Minister of General public Basic safety and Emergency Invoice Blair introduced the extension of the closure in a Jan. 12 tweet.

“Our Federal government will keep on to ensure the protection of Canadians from #COVID19 and foundation our conclusions on the most effective public overall health assistance available,” Blair wrote in the tweet.

Canadian Primary Minister Justin Trudeau also declared the determination to preserve the border closed on Tuesday, telling media the extension is “an important determination, and one that will preserve persons on both equally sides of the border risk-free,” in accordance to a story posted by World Information.

Close to an hour later, a tweet from U.S. Homeland Stability echoed the announcement, introducing that the U.S. border closure with Mexico also has been prolonged a further thirty day period to Feb. 21.

“We are operating closely with Mexico and Canada to keep critical trade & travel open when also guarding our citizens from the virus,” the Homeland Protection tweet examine.

The U.S. and Canada initial agreed to close the border to non-essential journey starting March 21, and have extended that restriction on a month-by-thirty day period basis. Tuesday’s announcement formally marks the 10th this kind of extension, as the closure is now nearing a complete 12 months.

COVID figures update

The figures on equally sides of the border do not sign a reopening coming whenever before long, as equally the U.S. and Canada are looking at massive increases this tumble.

As of Tuesday early morning, the United States remained the most difficult-strike state in the environment during the pandemic with much more than 22.6 million confirmed scenarios and 377,000 related deaths, in accordance to the John Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard. Canada, in the meantime, was 23rd all round with extra than 676,000 circumstances and 17,000 linked fatalities.

The U.S. is the third-most populated state in the world with 331,002,651 residents, in accordance to worlometers.facts, although Canada is No. 39 with 37,742,154 people.

In accordance to the British Columbia COVID-19 dashboard as of Monday, Jan. 11, the province has found 58,107 overall situations throughout the pandemic and 1,010 confirmed deaths — an increase of 18,047 circumstances and 423 fatalities considering that the very last border extension was declared Dec. 11. With a inhabitants of roughly 5.1 million, British Columbia has witnessed an infection fee of 353.9 instances and 8.4 fatalities per 100,000 people in the earlier month.

The Washington Point out Office of Wellness, in the meantime, claimed 265,312 confirmed conditions and 3,699 related fatalities on Monday — an raise of 72,899 situations and 849 fatalities considering that Dec. 11. With a populace of somewhere around 7.5 million, the state has averaged 972. situations and 11.32 fatalities for every 100,000 inhabitants in the earlier thirty day period.

Closure financial effects

Whatcom County is unquestionably emotion the financial effects of the border closure, which now prepares to enter its eighth thirty day period.

The Western Washington University Border Policy Analysis Institute identified in advance of the pandemic that Canadians comprise roughly 75% of cross-border travelers to and from Whatcom County, based on the exchange rate when the border is open up, in accordance to facts Director Laurie Trautman emailed to The Bellingham Herald for an earlier tale.

In 2018, that would have represented approximately 10.5 million southbound Canadian vacationers via the Blaine, Lynden, Sumas and Issue Roberts factors of entry.

These Canadians characterize a big part of people in Whatcom County — everywhere from 2% to 46% of the weekend client base Whatcom County shops see, Trautman described, introducing that the normal is about 17%.

Important journey involving the two countries is continue to authorized, however, and that consists of transportation of freight.

Bureau of Transportation statistics present that freight shipments throughout the border are continuing to get well from early pandemic lows.

The figures exhibit freight crossing the border in between the U.S. and Canada in Oct was 1.1% higher than what was observed in September. It is nevertheless down 10.% in contrast to Oct of 2019, while.

Approximately $29. billion really worth of freight crossed the U.S.-Canada border in vans, the Bureau of Transportation reported, which was up 2.2% about August, but down 3.4% from past yr. Rail freight in excess of the border was valued at $7.6 billion — up. 2.% from September, but down 3.6% from October of 2019.

CBP requested to examine closure

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar and U.S. Sen. John Corny, each of Texas, have asked the U.S. Customs and Border Defense to make a report on the money influence of border crossings getting shut to non-essential journey, in accordance to a tale by the Rio Grande Guardian.

Cuellar and Corny reportedly want to find out how massive of an affect the closure of U.S. borders to Canada and Mexico is possessing on customers, holidaymakers and all those who want to journey to see spouse and children in other nations around the world.

“Sen. Cornyn and I extra language to have Homeland (Protection) search at the money affect of holding the border shut to communities, to firms, to households on the border. I am conversing about the border constraints,” Cuellar mentioned, on a meeting get in touch with previous week, the Guardian documented.

Journey screening

Whilst the land border is shut to non-necessary travel, Canada very last 7 days commenced necessitating all tourists traveling into Canada to have a unfavorable COVID-19 take a look at prior to getting authorized to enter.

The necessity, which commenced Jan. 7, required all passengers aged 5 and more mature to exhibit a detrimental polymerase chain response, or PCR, take a look at result prior to being allowed to board a flight to Canada, according to a story by Journey and Leisure.

Tourists traveling to Canada still have to follow the country’s necessary 14-day quarantine and are subject matter to jail time and a likely $750,000 wonderful for violating that rule.

“The COVID-19 situation continues to demonstrate its unpredictable and speedily shifting nature. We, for that reason, want to carry out added speedy and effective actions to protect the wellbeing and safety of all Canadians,” François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of international affairs, informed Vacation and Leisure in a assertion.

Champagne also advised in opposition to any non-critical vacation exterior of Canada.

Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau also instructed Journey and Leisure that the new testing needs “will supply one more layer of security for Canadians as we continue to assess public well being hazards and do the job to limit the unfold of COVID-19 in Canada.”

The Worldwide Air Transportation Affiliation has expressed irritation with the requirement, according to a tale by Governing administration Technological innovation and Expert services Coalition’s Homeland Safety Currently.

In a statement, the air transportation affiliation mentioned that it experienced been calling for testing to re-open up borders with no quarantine steps for months, but these requests experienced been disregarded, according to Homeland Security Today.

It referred to as Canada’s new measures “equally callous and impractical to impose this new requirement on tourists at these types of short notice,” in accordance to the tale, incorporating that “it is completely unrealistic to mandate that airlines test passengers’ compliance with the new rule, as it simply cannot be the airline’s part to establish if a passenger attempted their utmost to get examined or not.”

New Zealand has instituted identical specifications on Jan. 4 for vacationers flying to that region from the United States or the United Kingdom to have proof of a damaging test final result no far more than 72 several hours right before departing, in accordance to a tale by airlineratings.com.

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