For the fourth time, Canada and the United States are expected to extend a ban on non-essential travel, two Canadian officials told Reuters. This would push back the earliest possible reopening to late August.
Nobody reading the U.S.-Canada tea leaves can be surprised. Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada had handled the outbreak better than the United States, in a rare public rebuke.
Canada has seemingly no appetite to open the door to a country where COVID-19 rates are increasing in four out of five states. In a recent poll, nine out of 10 residents of Quebec and Ontario said they didn’t want the Canada-United States border to reopen in July.
The premiers of Canadian provinces, the equivalent of US state governors, have also made it clear that they want the frontier to remain shut.
Last week, John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, said in an interview, “We want to maintain those borders closed at this time. It is overwhelmingly supported by British Columbians.”
Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, said today that the situation in Florida was “staggering” and “scary.”
Last week, the chief medical officer in the Pacific province of British Columbia said there was no chance of non-essential travel with the United States this summer, given how widespread the virus was south of the border.
The original border closure was put in place on March 20 for 30 days and then extended in April, May and June. Commercial crossings for trade and commerce have continued throughout the pandemic.
Canada has stomped its coronavirus infection rate down to just three new daily cases per 100,000 people, per the Harvard Global Health Institute’s risk-assessment map.
In comparison, the U.S. rate of infection is 18 new daily cases per 100,000 — six times greater than that of our northern neighbor, with hot spots in Arizona, Florida, Texas, South Carolina and a dozen other states. That puts America on par with Brazil and South Africa in terms of how poorly the disease has been managed.