Canada-US border closure could last for months as many Canadians prefer so amid pandemic
Ottawa/IBNS: The alarming rate of increase in COVID-19 in many US states has led to the extension of Canada-US land border closure to non-essential traffic until at least Aug 21 affecting the lives of many people on both sides, media reports said.
Although Canadians are still permitted to fly to the US, American visitors are prohibited to enter Canada via all modes of transport.
The border closure agreement between Canada and the US is reviewed every 30 days.
Several experts from different fields had told CBC News that they predict the border will not open until sometime next year due to the continuous surge of COVID-19 in many US states.
"It doesn't seem to be getting any better in the US," said U.S. Immigration lawyer Len Saunders, whose office sits close to the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash. He believes the border could stay closed for another six months.
"There's really no reason why the Canadian government, at this point, would want to open it up and subject Canadians to an increased rate of COVID infections," CBC News reported.
According to the Leger Marketing poll, 1,500 Canadians were asked last month if the Canada-US border should reopen at the end of July, 86 percent of respondents said they were opposed to the idea.
"As long as Canadians don't feel safe, then why force open that border when there's no strong political logic to doing it?" said Moshe Lander, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, reported by CBC News.
Lander predicts a possible border reopening in middle to late 2021, subject to the virus being under control at that point.
The federal government had recently loosened travel restrictions to allow Americans to visit immediate family in Canada, including dependent children, spouses and common-law partners.
To qualify as common-law, couples should have been living together for at least one year supported with proof of documentation showing a shared address.
Some separated couples who don't meet the criteria have opted to tie the knot.
Canadians can fly to the U.S. to get married, or both partners can travel to the Peace Arch border crossing between British Columbia and Washington state.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)