Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that the U.S.-Canadian border will “eventually” reopen from its COVID-19 closure, but hinted it likely won’t be anytime soon.
“We’re all eager to be able to travel again,” Trudeau said March 15 during a news conference in Montreal, according to a story published by Global News. “But I think we’re all going to wait patiently until such time as the health situation allows us to loosen border restrictions internationally. That’ll be eventually, but not for today.”
The border is currently scheduled to be closed to non-essential travel until at least March 21 — one year, to the day since the two countries first closed the border in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 during opening stages of the pandemic. The closure has been extended on month-by-month basis 11 times, most recently on Feb. 19.
Whatcom County is certainly feeling the economic impact of the border closure, which is now less than a week away from marking a full year.
The Western Washington University Border Policy Research Institute found before the pandemic that Canadians comprise approximately 75% of cross-border travelers to and from Whatcom County, depending on the exchange rate when the border is open, according to information Director Laurie Trautman emailed to The Bellingham Herald for an earlier story.