Following news that the United States will reopen its borders with Canadians for leisure travel, there are growing calls for the Government of Canada to abolish the COVID-19 inspection requirements for re-entry into the country.
When asked about the possibilities, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland provided Canadians with a reminder that “rules are rules.”
The Canadian border is currently open to recreational trips, but only for Americans who can prove to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test.
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However, US and Canadian trade commissions, chambers of commerce, and tourism organizations are calling on the government to abolish that requirement.
Speaking in Washington, DC on Thursday, Freeland seemed locked up in that idea — for now.
“Canadians need a valid PCR test to return to Canada. We tested this afternoon to get home,” Freeland said.
“I really believe that the Canadian approach of following science, following the recommendations of public health authorities, and neglecting attention when it comes to ending the fight against COVID has really, really helped us.”
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The United States will open its borders for overseas travel in November. However, the need for full immunization proof does not require future visitors to be provided with a negative test. However, Canadians need a test to return home. Price tags tested by most American private companies can be up to US $ 200, or nearly C $ 250.
One chamber of commerce director said that dropping this additional hurdle could help businesses on both sides of the border.
“What we want is to present the vaccination card as we do in theater, music and sports,” said Guy Okio Grosso, CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“When both sides of the border are aligned, which is similar to what we all experience as a new normal, it is when we see an increase in normal activity.”
Canadians make up about 30 percent of retail sales in Whatcom County, Washington, including Bellingham.
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The Managing Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Blaine, Washington, in the same county as Bellingham, reiterated Okio Grosso’s concerns and hopes.
“All our businesses are closed a few days a week and at lunch. Hopefully, with borders, that would change,” Sheila Wood said.
In Vancouver, the pandemic also affected tourism-related spending. To date, the estimated loss is $ 10 billion.
Still, Freeland said her priority was “to end the fight against COVID” and “yes, that means we still need to be cautious and cautious.” I did.
The United States plans to reopen its border with Canadians vaccinated with COVID-19
She also refused to suggest when test requirements could be removed.
“Our government has been thoughtful about working with our public health authorities, working with scientists, working with doctors throughout the pandemic, and our measures are flexible. Yes, we are adapting to changing circumstances, “she said.
“Of course, that will continue to be the situation.”
Canada “wins the fight against COVID,” Freeland continued.
“We are in control of the fourth wave. Importantly, our children are back in school and our economy is successfully resuming,” she said. rice field.
“I really believe that paying a little attention over the next few weeks to see the effects of returning to school is a really wise Canadian approach when looking at what the effects of cold weather are. increase. “
— Using files from Richard Zussman of Global News
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“Rules are rules”: Freeland mothers on the removal of PCR tests on the Canadian border-nationwide
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