Justin Trudeau tells airlines Canada's in no rush to open borders
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says public health is far more important than the economic challenges currently facing the airline and tourism industries, and he's in no rush to lift current international travel restrictions.
Speaking during his daily press briefing Monday, Trudeau said reopening Canada's borders too soon could result in a dangerous and deadly second wave of COVID-19.
"I understand how difficult this is and how frustrating this is for some people, but we know that reopening too quickly or carelessly would lead to a resurgence that might well force us to go back into lockdown, to shut down the economy once again, and nobody wants that," he said outside Rideau Cottage this morning.
"We need to make sure we are keeping Canadians safe first and foremost."
Trudeau says gov will be very careful when deciding when to reopen international borders. By the way Trudeau is talking, it does not seem this will happen anytime soon.— Annie Bergeron-Oliver (@AnnieClaireBO) June 22, 2020
The statement comes as pressure from chief executives in the travel industry has been mounting amid continuous border closures.
Last week, the PM extended the border closure and ban on non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. until at least July 21.
Soon after, people in positions of power at 27 different companies affected by the ban released a letter urging the government to relax air travel restrictions as soon as possible.
Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu also called for the easing of restrictions earlier this month.
“A senior official with Air Canada - the country’s largest airline - urged the government on Monday to quickly reopen borders and dilute quarantine requirements, citing what other nations were doing.” OH you mean do what the US is doing? Yeah smart move, money-hungry assholes.— Karina "Socially Isolated As Always" Halle (@MetalBlonde) June 22, 2020
But Trudeau made it very clear today that he has no plans to buckle under the pressure.
"I understand there are a lot of tourism firms and airlines who would like us to be able to once again welcome tourists, but these people all need to understand that if we take steps too quickly, if we are not sure of what we're doing at each stage, we risk hitting a second wave," he said.
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