U.S.-Canada Border to Remain Closed to Non-Essential Travel Until July 21
It looks like the U.S.-Canada boarder will remain closed another 30 days to non-essential travel. Travel has been banned between the two countries since March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ban was set to lift on June 21 and has now been extended to July 21.
Both countries agreed back in March to temporarily close the border to non-essential travel while keeping it open to commercial traffic and essential workers who cross the border for work. Recreational travel is not allowed."This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The agreed upon ban on non-essential travel covers the land border between the two countries, which includes travel by car, train, ferry and pleasure boats into Canada. However, currently non-essential travel by air to the U.S. is permitted, but U.S. citizens can not fly into Canada.
The travel ban has of course had a big impact. Michigan has 10 international border crossings into the Canadian province of Ontario. These include bridges, tunnels, ferries and rail lines. For most of us we rely on the Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel for our jaunts across the "creek", or the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron to Sarnia. Both are less than a 90 minute drive.
Canada like the U.S. relies on seasonal tourism in certain areas for the economy. Popular destinations for long weekends like Niagra Falls depend on tourism. Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagra Falls says that the summer months are crucial saying it's typically where they make 80% of their earnings. "In Niagra Fall, 40,000 jobs depend on tourism to put food on the table; 98 percent of them have been laid off."
The U.S as well has a strong presence of Canadian visitors throughout the summer months and not just for vacations. Michigan retailers find themselves busy with shoppers from Canada heading over to spend their money as well.
The only small plus to the continued travel ban is renovations on the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel are moving along a little faster and easier.