The border: Canada-U.S. Land crossings were closed in March 2020 to non-essential travel in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.
But as vaccination rates rise, the two national governments are under increasing pressure to produce a plan to reopen to help struggling tourism industries and families who have been separated for more than a year. On the US side, calls have been made for the Biden administration to begin easing measures at the US border without Canada, if necessary.
Since the border measures were first imposed, countries have renewed a monthly bilateral agreement to keep them in place. The next deal expires on June 21.
Trudeau said before the country begins to ease public health restrictions – including those at the border – at least 75% of the Canadian population should have their first doses of the Covid vaccine and 20% should be fully vaccinated.
As of May 29, more than 68 percent of Canadian adults had received at least one dose, while more than 7 percent were fully immunized.
“The federal government is nervous,” said Diodati, whose city relies heavily on American tourists. “They don’t want to make mistakes or missteps. We understand this.
On the target: Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, whose town is across the river from Detroit, also attended the meeting with Blair. He told POLITICO on Monday that Blair explained to mayors that Canada was on track to meet Trudeau’s vaccination threshold by June 21.
“It is their belief and their projections that we can achieve this goal by June 21,” said Dilkens. “He said they were looking for a gradual and logical reopening in stages.”
Both Dilkens and Diodati said Blair told mayors Canada was on track to have 75% of its population vaccinated by July 21.
Parallel movement: Dilkens added that Blair said Canada “seeks symmetry, coordination and collaboration at the border.”
“From Bill Blair’s mouth to my ears, they think the United States could do it on their own,” Dilkens said. “If the United States does this alone and is wide open, in the early hours you will have thousands of Canadians from my community alone walking through. “
The problem with an asymmetric reopening is that Canadians entering the United States may still be subject to strict measures – including 14-day quarantines – upon their return.
Both mayors said Blair raised the possibility of two general flows of travelers: those who are partially vaccinated and those who are fully vaccinated. Dilkens said one example noted that travelers who received only a partial vaccination would face more restrictions.
Trudeau at the border: The Prime Minister offered new details earlier Monday on Canada’s thoughts on the border.
“We are looking at how we are going to start welcoming tourists in a phased fashion as the numbers decline in Canada, as the numbers start to decline in the United States and elsewhere in the world,” Trudeau said at an event virtual. organized by the St. John’s Chamber of Commerce.
He added that Canada must ensure that travelers are fully vaccinated before entering the country. Trudeau also noted concerns about variations that still create challenges in places like India and the UK.
“We don’t want to risk new epidemics – a fourth wave would be devastating, not only for the economy but for morale.”