O, Canada! We May Not Be Traveling North of the Border Any Time Soon
Plans to travel to see the wonders of the True North were due an avalanche of celebration on June 21, when the U.S.-Canada border was scheduled to open, but a recent conversation between U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is casting an ominous shadow on that possibility.
Ever since the March 2020 ban on non-essential travel was instituted in accordance with other pandemic-related shutdowns, Americans have been restricted from leisure travel north of the border. That ban has since been updated on a month-to-month basis, testing the patience of Canadian businesses that rely heavily on tourism.
So, what’s the hold up?
While America continues its return to normality amid a continuous surge in vaccine distribution, the picture has looked vastly different for Canadians.
Current numbers, according to vaccination data from Johns Hopkins University, show that just over 44 percent of U.S. citizens, or nearly 145 million people, have been fully vaccinated. These data are vastly disproportionate compared to the approximately 12 percent of fully vaccinated Canadians, a number that falls well below the 75 percent rate Trudeau previously set as a criteria to open the border.
Still, there are some signs of hope, as Canada recently announced an imminent relaxation of quarantine requirements for Canadians returning home from international travel. Restrictions have also been loosened for National Hockey League playoff series involving teams from both countries.
But with uncertainty abounding and the June 21 deadline only a week away, all signs are pointing toward travel delays lasting well into the summer.
“We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way,” Trudeau said, “but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens.”
The Canadian Rockies remain at the forefront of my interests. Please help us, Canada.