Trudeau: Canada won’t rush border re-opening despite pressure
In his daily coronavirus briefing today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada will not rush to lift the travel restrictions it currently has in place.
Since March 18, Canada has had travel restrictions which are set to expire on June 30. Restrictions on cross-border travel with the U.S. have also existed since March 21 and they will remain in place until at least July 21.
In his latest remarks on this topic, Trudeau said that Canada will continue to monitor the international situation to determine how to proceed with its travel rules.
While he understands the economic benefits of lifting the restrictions, he does not want to do so at the risk of public safety. Loosening Canada’s travel rules too soon could lead to a second wave of COVID-19 and a return to lockdowns.
Canada has been able to reduce its coronavirus cases significantly in recent months, which has led to a gradual re-opening of its economy.
The travel and tourism sector, however, remains dormant due to the travel restrictions. Recent reports indicate some of Canada’s largest airports are currently operating at around two per cent capacity.
Last week, executives from 27 of some of Canada’s top companies wrote a public letter calling on the federal government to safely lift restrictions in order to support Canada’s economic recovery.
The signatories of the letter included leaders from Canada’s airline, banking, communications, energy, manufacturing, and asset management sectors.
They argued that the best path forward was for Canada to safely re-open its borders until a vaccine is found. Their remarks echoed those made by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who served as Canada’s immigration minister between 2008 and 2013.
Trudeau will announce Canada’s decision on how it will proceed with its travel rules by June 30. The Prime Minister acknowledged how frustrating the current travel restrictions are, but at the same time, the government will remain very careful in determining when and how to lift its restrictions.
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