Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Anyone eagerly looking to travel north into Canada, or south into the United States in the near future - don't hold your frozen breath.
The current border closure is currently through Dec. 21, 2020, but as Covid cases continue to multiply, restrictions are certain to remain well into 2021, perhaps even until 2022.
The same timeframe holds true for mandatory mask usage, social distancing, restrictions on gathering and crowds at sporting events and festivals. The 2022 date was suggested by moderator Kristen Welker during the U.S. Presidential Debate without even being brought up either candidate. 2022 is also looked at as a realistic date before a vaccine will be widely available per the World Health Organization. In a radio interview this past week, Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman suggested the wait for nonessential traffic may well be later rather than sooner. "The pandemic seems to be escalating in both of our countries", Hillman said. "That would seem to suggest these measures are with us for a while." Hillman also stated that there is no specific metric to automatically warrant the border to reopen. Canada currently enforces a 14-day quarantine for all arriving or returning travelers. Mandatory quarantines and restrictions are also being increasingly enforced on the U.S. side on state and local levels.
The long-term closures have crippled tourism and businesses on both sides of the border, locations such as Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Buffalo/Hamilton/Toronto. In recent weeks hotel space in Grand Forks, N.D. have been used as quarantine space for university students.
As President-Elect Biden prepares to take office, the two countries may announce longer-term closures rather than month-to-month restrictions in place since March.