The Canada-United States border remains closed for non-essential personnel, though restrictions are being loosened to allow more families to reunite after several months of strict lockdowns.
Starting Oct. 8, extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents including dating relationships of at least one year and their dependent children, as well as adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents can all now start crossing the border.
While keeping the border closed to any and all visitors looking to travel in Canada has been extended another month with the end of Oct. 31, it’s the right call to start allowing families to see each other again after so long apart.
And while the border is closed, a wide range of exemptions for essential workers, Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families and international students are allowed into the country, so it’s not like Canada has completely isolated themselves from the rest of the world.
Quarantining for 14 days is still mandatory for anyone entering back into Canada so there still is a buffer between those people coming into contact with others.
Now, that doesn’t mean the border should be fully opened any time soon, especially after seeing photos, videos and social media posts coming from down south where it looks like many states have completely let off the gas in terms of social distancing.
No one wants to see more lockdowns coming from the provinces in which they live in and extending the U.S./Canada border closure looks to be at least one way to keep that from happening, though it’s still entirely possible.
The question continues to be — when will international travel be allowed back?
And unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be anytime soon as the pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away for the foreseeable future.
Even with borders closed, Ontario and Quebec have continued to see their numbers rise even higher than they were earlier in the spring and early summer.
Could you imagine how much higher they’d continue to climb if the border was completely open for anyone to come in?
They would be astronomical.
So it’s imperative the federal government continues to keep the border shut down until further notice and I think it’d be hard to find many Canadians who would disagree.
And it’s time to turn inward once again and start to tighten up in terms of preventing the spread of COVID-19 here in Canada.
Last week it was reported the national seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases had been higher than it ever has, so more work needs to be done in the Great White North as the pandemic continues.
That doesn’t mean complete lockdowns from coast to coast, but it does mean wearing masks in social settings when possible and social distancing as best as possible.
With winter fast approaching, it should hopefully lead to more people staying home instead of braving the cold weather but with the amount of distancing already happening, it isn’t unthinkable people will continue to take risks as “COVID fatigue” continues to set in.
We’re sure everyone has been experiencing some exhaustion during this pandemic and unfortunately, the action required to keep COVID-19 at bay will need to continue in order to not only keep yourself safe but also members of your family.
This editorial originated in the Taber Times