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Author Topic: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans  (Read 31441 times)

kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2021, 05:58:43 PM »

There is a pretty fundamental issue with not letting people to re-enter the country of their citizenship. 
So if Mexico took more relaxed attitude towards inflow of US dollars travelers bringing money into the country, that is one thing.
US policy on foreigners entry would likely be uniform across northern and southern borders.

Your reply implies that you believe tourist money is why Mexico hasn't stopped letting US visitors into their country.  I believe you're correct.  Why, then, do you assume the US would treat the northern and southern borders equally?  Would the US not have unequal interest in preserving the cash flow from one country compared to the other?

US is much less dependent on tourist dollars. And business travel, which is much more important than tourism for US, never really stopped.
Snowbirds could be a bit of a deal, but not really a deal breaker. 
Moreover, initial US response - heavily undermined by many factors - was to seal the border and avoid virus spread to begin with, and let all the tourist wait until better times (if those would ever return). Australia/NZ/China example show that it was not impossible. However, original goal was missed - but that isolation trend seems to be conserved.
Honestly speaking, sealing borders (and restricting travel in general) did make sense when infection rates were significantly different across the line; by now this is just knee jerk induced by reading old textbooks as infection is spread out.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2021, 06:02:40 PM »

The US sealed its borders because the situation in Italy (and then Spain) became an obvious problem.

I flew into the US from Toronto in March of 2020 a few days before Italy shut its borders down, and at that time there were only restrictions about travel from China.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2021, 06:06:17 PM »

The US sealed its borders because the situation in Italy (and then Spain) became an obvious problem.

I flew into the US from Toronto in March of 2020 a few days before Italy shut its borders down, and at that time there were only restrictions about travel from China.

That was something they even had in Mexico at the time.  Every passenger out of Guadalajara was screened at the security line and asked if they had been to China in the past 14 days.
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kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2021, 06:22:08 PM »

The US sealed its borders because the situation in Italy (and then Spain) became an obvious problem.

I flew into the US from Toronto in March of 2020 a few days before Italy shut its borders down, and at that time there were only restrictions about travel from China.
I am more thinking about Diamon Princess passengers situation  and a first NY hotspot originating from Iran of all places. For example, CDC and Trump personally wanted to leave known infected people from DP in Japan, but department of state overruled and brought sick folks back. As far as I remember, genetic studies shown that there was a leak and consequent spread from that quarantine. Not that it really changed anything in a long run, though. But infection was seen as "unhygienic chinese"  problem with little spread potential in "civilized US", so first pass quarantine measures were less than spectacular.
Talking about arrogance..
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2021, 08:14:09 PM »

I'm late to the thread, but I have a unique perspective / this is a matter of significant personal interest to me, so....

The negative test requirement is stupid. Even stupider that it can't be a rapid test (but I do agree with the vaccine requirement). It's a good first step at least and WAY overdue.

The vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection/contagion.   There are enough breakthrough cases for the testing requirement to be reasonable until enough people are vaccinated for the disease to settle down to its eventual endemic level.

(My wife and I are currently positive, despite both of us having been fully vaccinated, and my having had COVID last fall.   She's got the symptoms of a bad cold.  I've got a sniffle and some aches that aren't as bad as the vaccine side effects.)

That being said, the hassle of having to take a COVID test before crossing may mean that I go up less frequently.   I still need to research the particulars of filling prescriptions while visiting Canada and bringing the meds back to the US; a couple of prescriptions I was put on in the past couple of months would be less hideously expensive at the pharmacy across the street from my office than the pharmacy we use down here.

Politics aside, the arrogant attitude a lot of Canadians have towards American tourists in general (which has worsened since COVID) has really left a sour taste in my mouth.

I have relatives that live in the Detroit suburbs and they stopped going over before Covid broke out because of that.

Former WWE wrestler Bob Holly also wrote this in his book about going to Canada:

Quote
Montreal is completely the opposite of Australia---there seems to be a lot of rude people in Montreal. Several times when I stopped to ask for directions, the French Canadians just looked at me funny and walked off. I never did like going into Canada, period. Not many of the boys did. It was always such a hassle at customs. We entered other countries without a problem, but getting into Canada could be brutal. They'd take forever with us; it was torture. Any time we worked there, we'd get paid in Canadian dollars, so when the exchange rate was bad, we lost money like crazy. You'd better believe that seeing Canada on the schedule was a real buzzkill.

My current job is based in Montréal, despite my living in Connecticut.

My experience has been completely different.   Wonderful people, great food....but you do have to respect the culture, and collectively Americans generally do a lousy job of that.  Language is essentially a civil rights thing in Québec.   But learning how to apologetically say, "Pardon, je suis American/Americanne.  Je ne pas parlez francais" goes a very long way to smoothing things over with Québecois francophones.

I'll admit that there are a few things that the Québec national government (and conversationally recognizing it as a national government and not just a provincial government is part of respecting the culture) does that I disagree with...but I'm a visitor and avoid getting involved beyond the extent necessary for my job.

Heck, part of the intriguing part of my socializing with my Canadian coworkers is coming to realize how much of the fundaments behind my political stances rely on assumptions that don't necessarily translate north of the border...and I won't go into detail on that point due to the rules of the forum.  :)
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2021, 08:19:22 PM »

I dated a woman who was an English speaker from Montreal for several years.  Listening to her stories about PQ and pretty much the entire dynamic of anyone who wasn’t a French speaking being second class was fascinating.  The whole thing where Quebec almost voted to spin off into their own country really her up in arms and concerned. 
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2021, 09:29:30 PM »

If you want to read a really interesting perspective on Quebec's sovereignty and language politics in general, read "Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!" by Mordecai Richler.

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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2021, 09:30:31 PM »

When looking at the cultural stresses around language in Québec, a useful piece of context was that before the 1960's, the professional class in Québec was primarily comprised of anglophones, and the laborer class in Québec was primarily made up of francophones.  The social turmoil of the 1960s manifested there approximately around linguistic lines....and yes, I know I'm not doing it justice with that generalization.
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andrepoiy

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2021, 09:34:47 PM »

Sigh, if only we could go to the US as well. :/
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2021, 09:42:38 PM »

When looking at the cultural stresses around language in Québec, a useful piece of context was that before the 1960's, the professional class in Québec was primarily comprised of anglophones, and the laborer class in Québec was primarily made up of francophones.  The social turmoil of the 1960s manifested there approximately around linguistic lines....and yes, I know I'm not doing it justice with that generalization.

No, it's a very complicated issue.  There is certainly wrong on both sides (there often always is), but certainly the fact that Quebec had an anglophone ruling class has lead to the resentment that lives (lived?) in the residents of Quebec today (and in the recent past).

But... some of the identity politics in Quebec are just plain old us vs. them nationalism, the same force that has led Trump to power in the US in recent years.

And this is grossly glossing over the past as well.

I've actually read quite a lot about the history of Quebec -- though not that recently.  It's fascinating to me -- certainly one of the more interesting aspects of Canadian history.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #60 on: July 20, 2021, 10:13:07 PM »

Sigh, if only we could go to the US as well. :/

Only the land border has been closed southbound.  There were plenty of folks flying south until Ottawa tightened up the rules for re-entry during the winter.
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US 41

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #61 on: July 20, 2021, 10:20:00 PM »

The Mexican border has been open for quite a while and you don't have to jump though a bunch of hoops to go either.

I'm not sure the US–Mexican ever actually closed.  There was plenty of talk and rumors, but I don't think anything actually changed on the ground.

It might not have. This winter I am planning on taking a trip to Mexico again and I'm looking forward to it.
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oscar

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #62 on: July 20, 2021, 10:34:13 PM »

As to “non-essential” travel, really, the country, from what I see on the news and from YouTubers that I trust, remains shut down and thus does not have the tourist infrastructure to make a trip enjoyable.

I share that concern, which Canadians on this forum might be able to address. Canada seems to have had longer and stricter limits on internal (such as inter-provincial) travel than most of the U.S. Travel-related industries in the U.S. have at least partially recovered, with some exceptions such as rental car shortages (from what I hear, since my travels after the pandemic started have been in my own car). But I suspect there has been enough essential business travel in Canada, plus any internal "non-essential" travel, to keep the tourism infrastructure from completely falling apart.

Does that concern apply especially to Ontario, with its prolonged lockdowns? That's one of the two provinces I would like to re-visit this year.

As for comments about the U.S. not rushing to reopen its northern border -- might that be in part out of Administration concerns about keeping our southern border closed (or at least pretending to)? I suspect that the previous administration thought having a closed northern border helped, as a legal matter at least, keep the southern border closed, which is what it really wanted. That might be why the previous administration was unusually cooperative with Canada's desire to restrict cross-border travel (compared to the more blatant disrespect for Canada on other issues).
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2021, 10:50:22 PM »

I can speak for Ontario, tourism industry is returning to normal.  Hotels are operating, casinos are open, concerts are returning, baseball is coming back.  Most large festivals aren't running this summer in Ontario though -- the CNE, for example, isn't going to occur this August.

Things are pretty normal out west (aside from the obvious fact that BC is burning down).  The Calgary Stampede is currently ongoing.  Ontario has recently returned to pretty normal (though we still have a mask mandate indoors), and Quebec returned to more or less normal a few weeks before Ontario did.

Ontario had internal border checkpoints through much of the spring.  They have since been removed.  I drove to Quebec twice while the internal border was technically closed.  There were no restrictions heading easterly in Quebec, but there were returning to Ontario.  On my first trip west I followed a rural concession road from Quebec back into Ontario which was open without any police presence.  On my second trip through, I took the 401 and was directed into the first service centre just west of the border where a uniformed OPP officer waived me through without any questioning.  I have an Ontario plate on my vehicle, and I don't think any resident can be denied entry back into their home province for any reason.

Canada's constitution prohibits restrictions to living and conducting business in different provinces, but the language isn't as strong as it is in the US regarding interstate travel.  I suspect that the internal border checkpoints are illegal and unconstitutional in Canada much as they would be in the US, but generally most Canadians have been been fairly apathetic to these temporary restrictions.
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Alps

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2021, 12:41:45 AM »

Meanwhile, and hopefully less controversially, I'm trying to figure out what it takes to actually visit Canada as a fully vaccinated individual. They still require a quarantine plan on file. My hope, if I've read correctly, is that if they tell you that you are required to quarantine (for whatever reason), you can just turn around and head back into the USA and that's that.

jakeroot

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #65 on: July 21, 2021, 12:48:21 AM »

Based on the number of BC plates I see here in the Seattle area, I was assuming that Canadians were being allowed into the US but not the other way around. Not until this thread did I realize that both directions were closed. And no, they were not rental cars. There are numerous ways to tell and the vast majority have been personal vehicles.

Earlier in the thread, kphoger and kalvado discussed the idea of money playing a bigger role. I think northern WA communities would have appreciated this sort of approach. Border communities like Sumas and Blaine are total ghost towns. Sumas literally had zero people in it, from what I could see. It was really creepy.

People in Point Roberts, WA will also appreciate the change, as they have largely been relegated to boats for survival.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #66 on: July 21, 2021, 06:45:52 AM »

I thought Point Roberts had been accomodated otherwise.
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kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #67 on: July 21, 2021, 07:14:45 AM »

Earlier in the thread, kphoger and kalvado discussed the idea of money playing a bigger role. I think northern WA communities would have appreciated this sort of approach.
If you will, entire response is an attempt to compromise between epidemiologists desire for a complete lockdown and the economic reality of people having to put something on a plate. For most people, food has to come from the outside of their immediate residence...
There is a tremendous amount of data gathered during the entire situation, which will be analyzed in decades to come. One very interesting piece is virus propagation paths.
I didn't follow things closely, but at some point at the beginning of the year, I was stunned with how different was the genetic composition of the virus in Canada vs US, indicating an efficiently sealed border. It is much more uniform right now. Someone would eventually find out if those are intermixing pools or there was some other mechanism at play.
However US vs Mexico are pretty different right now, despite a pretty open border as @kphoger says.
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kphoger

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #68 on: July 21, 2021, 10:55:20 AM »

Based on the number of BC plates I see here in the Seattle area, I was assuming that Canadians were being allowed into the US ...

However US vs Mexico are pretty different right now, despite a pretty open border as @kphoger says.

Speaking of which...  I think I can count on one hand the number of non-commercial vehicles with Mexican plates I've spotted since March 2020.  Granted, I don't live near the border.  But I just drove down to Del Rio (TX) and back, as well as Galveston a week later.  I saw much fewer Mexican license plates in and around Del Rio than usual, but not zero.  And I saw a Nuevo León license plate on I-45 northbound between Houston and Dallas a couple of weeks ago.  Perhaps those have all been 'essential' travelers, but I do wonder.

Interestingly (at least to me) is that I spotted a LOT more dual-plated trucks than usual during my trip to Del Rio.  I probably saw a dozen or more dual-plated trucks on that trip, including as far north as the HE Bailey Turnpike.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #69 on: July 21, 2021, 11:30:04 AM »

When I went to Niagara Falls in the middle of the pandemic, although before the stay-at-home order, the Falls were deserted. However, I did see a lot of Toronto-area cars (based on their dealer plate covers). So yeah, there were still internal travellers, but it was still like 1% of the normal number of people there.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #70 on: July 21, 2021, 12:02:29 PM »

I thought Point Roberts had been accomodated otherwise.

I understood there were some other tiny exclaves that were accommodated, but Point Roberts residents never got permission to even transit through Canada, and the local CBSA outpost has been inconsistent in interpreting the definition of "essential" for allowed crossings.  (E.g. in one instance a dental emergency was apparently not "essential".)
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #71 on: July 21, 2021, 12:43:17 PM »

Ontario had internal border checkpoints through much of the spring.  They have since been removed.  I drove to Quebec twice while the internal border was technically closed.  There were no restrictions heading easterly in Quebec, but there were returning to Ontario.  On my first trip west I followed a rural concession road from Quebec back into Ontario which was open without any police presence.  On my second trip through, I took the 401 and was directed into the first service centre just west of the border where a uniformed OPP officer waived me through without any questioning.  I have an Ontario plate on my vehicle, and I don't think any resident can be denied entry back into their home province for any reason.

Canada's constitution prohibits restrictions to living and conducting business in different provinces, but the language isn't as strong as it is in the US regarding interstate travel.  I suspect that the internal border checkpoints are illegal and unconstitutional in Canada much as they would be in the US, but generally most Canadians have been been fairly apathetic to these temporary restrictions.

My cousin, a Canadian citizen who lives in Sudbury, Ontario, is currently on a motorcycle trip to the Maritime provinces. He had no problem traversing Ontario and Quebec, but upon entering New Brunswick yesterday, he had a police escort back to the Quebec border. Apparently he didn't fill out his TPS Report New Brunswick online entrance questionnaire. Once back in Quebec, he filled it out online and had smooth sailing back to Moncton.
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #72 on: July 21, 2021, 12:50:48 PM »

I thought Point Roberts had been accomodated otherwise.

I understood there were some other tiny exclaves that were accommodated, but Point Roberts residents never got permission to even transit through Canada, and the local CBSA outpost has been inconsistent in interpreting the definition of "essential" for allowed crossings.  (E.g. in one instance a dental emergency was apparently not "essential".)

And at the eastern end of the US/Can Border at Campobello Island, New Brunswick the residents have to drive 80 km through Maine to reach St. Stephen NB.....and it's been a PIA except when a couple of small ferries are operating and can get them direct to the NB mainland.

www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/campobello-island-residents-frustrated-by-new-travel-requirements-1.5793754

Campobello NB was the summer home of US President Franklin Roosevelt....

https://www.rooseveltcampobello.org
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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #73 on: July 21, 2021, 02:29:04 PM »

I've been to Canada 4 times and never once experienced any issue because I'm American. And Canada has beaten us in vaccination rate so they must be doing something right.

If you consider keeping most things shut down until nearly the entire country has been vaccinated,, then they're doing it right.

But if you live there, work there, and want to go anywhere, you're pretty much stuck inside until nearly everyone gets the vaccine. If what the did in Canada was done here in the US, nearly two-thirds of the states in this country still would be under significant restrictions and closures.

I'm in BC right now. Things are pretty much wide open. Ontario isn't the entire country.

Maybe I should've chosen to use Province rather than Country, but the point still applies. Canada in general stayed shut down or going on with restrictions for much longer than the US. Most of their restrictions this Spring were where the US was last spring.  There were very few instances where someone couldn't freely travel around their own state, and few instances where someone couldn't at minimum drive thru other states.
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kalvado

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Re: Canada to reopen borders to nonessential travel- first to Americans
« Reply #74 on: July 21, 2021, 02:37:09 PM »

I've been to Canada 4 times and never once experienced any issue because I'm American. And Canada has beaten us in vaccination rate so they must be doing something right.

If you consider keeping most things shut down until nearly the entire country has been vaccinated,, then they're doing it right.

But if you live there, work there, and want to go anywhere, you're pretty much stuck inside until nearly everyone gets the vaccine. If what the did in Canada was done here in the US, nearly two-thirds of the states in this country still would be under significant restrictions and closures.

I'm in BC right now. Things are pretty much wide open. Ontario isn't the entire country.

Maybe I should've chosen to use Province rather than Country, but the point still applies. Canada in general stayed shut down or going on with restrictions for much longer than the US. Most of their restrictions this Spring were where the US was last spring.  There were very few instances where someone couldn't freely travel around their own state, and few instances where someone couldn't at minimum drive thru other states.
One thing for sure - by 2030 or so, there will be a consensus about what should have been done in spring 2020. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Too bad, people had to make urgent decisions on the spot, with incomplete information at hand.
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