Canada Border Services official shares perspective on post-COVID reopening of Canada-U.S. Border
Biden and Trudeau reportedly discussed the border at the G-7 summit, but no deal has yet been announced.
BUFFALO, NY – It was reported that President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would discuss the border situation between the two countries during the G-7 summit meeting in England last weekend, but when he this is a real reopening, it is still very much a work in progress.
Country leaders have spoken and commercial traffic is increasing, but there would be no travel deal with many COVID restrictions still in Canada.
But 2 On Your Side spoke to Michael Prosia, Deputy Regional Director for Southern Ontario for the Canada Border Services Agency, about what we might see when it reopens.
These border counters operated by inspectors and officers from the Canada Border Services Agency may be largely silent for a while, but with continued suspension since March 2020 for any entry by U.S. citizens not considered to be in business. essential in this country.
Reuters and other news agencies report that there were border talks between Trudeau and Biden at the summit meeting; However, Canadian authorities are still holding back until more of its citizens are vaccinated.
Despite the incitement of American politicians like Senator Schumer and Congressman Higgins and others, Trudeau maintains that he must put the safety of the people of his country first, saying that “it is not the good time to travel “.
In addition, the province of Ontario has just restarted outdoor dining only and will only lift travel restrictions with its neighboring province of Quebec this week. It’s like traveling from New York to Pennsylvania and encountering police checkpoints and roadblocks. As Prosia explains, “There have been restrictions on interprovincial travel.”
Canada’s border services official said when the border reopens, it may take longer to determine the vaccination status of a U.S. traveler seeking entry.
“I wouldn’t say it will be difficult. But it will definitely add time to the crossing process,” said Prosia. “So having to validate this – more like validation as you say – it might take longer. Where either government decides to potentially go in terms of digital credentials – I don’t can talk about it. “
New York State of course pushed the Excelsior Pass app and we have vaccination cards. If not, can we expect relatively easy entry when the border reopens?
“Find out what it will look like once the restrictions start to ease, how this process will work between the two countries – I don’t think there has been a ruling on this piece yet,” Prosia said.
But Prosia says CBSA inspectors have always been on the job and some have even been reassigned to help manage commercial truck traffic across the border which he says is approaching pre-COVID levels.
We also asked if anyone had tried to cross the border without proving they had essential business.
“We’ve seen people who have tried to enter for discretionary purposes and generally it’s a piece of ‘education’ where we send them back to the United States under the direction of the travel restrictions currently in place,” said Prosia.
The CBSA has issued warnings that American boaters should not travel to Canadian waters where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol by boat. Anyone caught trying to sneak into Canada risks fines, jail time and the seizure of their boat.
The next move by the Canadian government is expected next week on June 21, and some have expressed hope that the border could start to be opened in July. But there’s no guarantee with Canada’s slower vaccination rate and tighter travel restrictions.