Canada considering reopening its border, starting with vaccinated travelers

The Bellingham Herald

National media reports indicate Canada is warming up to the idea of easing some border restrictions on Tuesday, June 22.

Politico reported that the Canadian government is open to the idea of easing COVID-19 restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border as the country’s vaccination rates for COVID-19 get close to 75% of the country’s adult population. In late May, Canada had vaccinated more than 68% of adults with at least one shot, according to the article posted Monday, June 7.

Canada appears to be pushing for a phased approach and wanting to make sure those entering the country are fully vaccinated.

It is unclear what the reaction of travelers will be if the border does open later this month, said Laurie Trautman, director at Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute. On the Canadian side, there will be a rush of people who want to see their Whatcom County friends and family, as well as check on property.

While much of the Canadian population has had at least one shot, very few are fully vaccinated. That, and the fact that Canadian public opinion is still fragile when it comes to opening back up, leads Trautman to believe there might be an initial rush, but that it will take time for normal cross-border traffic to return.

“Will we get the same-day shoppers crossing the border? Not right away,” Trautman said. “Canadians are still really sensitive to this issue, more than in the U.S. where more people are fully vaccinated. They are still at a very different place than we are.”

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 1:00pm