canada border

Trudeau says Canada-U.S. border will stay closed after Trump hints at re-opening it soon

One of the many questions residents have as they anxiously wonder when (and in which ways) life will start returning to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic is when people might be able to travel again.

Though common sense tells us that no one will be able to hop on a plane and cross international lines anytime in the near future, U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that the Canada-U.S. border may be opening up sooner than some may think.

"Our relationship with Canada is very good. We'll talk about that. It will be one of the early borders to be released," Trump said during his daily COVID-19 press briefing on April 15. "Canada's doing well, we're doing well, we'll see; but at some point we'll be doing that."

He added that "with Canada we are talking about different things," compared to those "nations that are heavily infected," between which the U.S. plans on maintaining very strong travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, Trudeau said to press on April 16 that easing up on the border closure is not something he's considering any time soon.

When asked about his response to Trump's statements, Trudeau replied that Trump was recognizing that "the closeness, the collaboration, the friendship between Canada and the United States is quite unlike any other," and that moving forward during the coronavirus crisis, "there will be special thought given to this relationship."

"But at the same time, we know that there is a significant amount of time still before we can talk about loosening such restrictions," he said, adding that current measures at the Canada-U.S. border will stay in place for "a good time still," likely many weeks.

He mentioned that like in all other countries, travel bans implemented during the pandemic are in place to protect citizens, and Canada and the U.S. are "no exception."

While speaking more generally about reopening any aspect of the country and its economy, Trudeau said that reducing restrictions must be done "at the right moment and very, very carefully," as it would be "absolutely disastrous for us to open up too early or too quickly."

He expects that we are many weeks away from having the ability to commence easing back into normal economic operations.

But south of the border, Trump has said that the U.S. government is now in a position to "finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country," and that some states could even start softening their lockdowns and begin returning to business as usual before the originally-planned deadline of May 1.

The current temporary moratorium on travel between the two countries (from which the transport of essential goods and workers is, of course, exempted) is set to expire early next week.

In his daily presser on April 16, Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered his two cents on the topic, saying that Canada's borders need to stay closed and that he does not want Americans in Ontario.

Lead photo by

RGB2/Wikimedia Commons

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