The United States and Canada are in ongoing discussions as to the how and when of opening the worlds longest international border.
Closed since March of 2020, the United States and Canadian land and sea borders have eliminated all “non essential” travel between the two countries. Talks have been taking place recently between the two countries about opening the border and just how that will take place.
The real key is when, and now we have an answer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to reporters last Tuesday, pointed to a 75 percent vaccination rate as key threshold when asked about potentially reopening the border.
Almost 40 per cent of Canadians have received a first dose, but just over 3 per cent are fully inoculated, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. By comparison, more than 48 per cent of Americans have had their first shot and 38 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Keep in mind that these percentages being considered for re-opening will be required for both countries in order for re-opening to take place.
Doing simple math, considering vaccine roll out began in January, Canada likely will not reach the 75 percent threshold until November or December.
The real issue may be with the United States. While 38 percent are fully vaccinated, estimates based on rollouts and people’s willingness to get vaccinated, reaching 75 percent may be far out of reach.
While these numbers are talking points now, a full re-opening to travel as we once knew it seems unlikely.
Canada’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said “We recognize that in the coming weeks, when the number of vaccinated people grows and if we continue to see a reduction in COVID cases and hospitalizations, that we may be in a position to progressively loosen these measures,”
The key in this phrase is “progressively loosen”. So, anyone expecting a green light to go on and traffic to start flowing is going to be disappointed.
If the NHL, NBA and MLB can’t get all the cross border travel they want, the general public isn’t going to get it either.
Until the vaccination rates reach agreed upon levels, and a shared verification system for vaccinations we wont be going shopping on either side of the border.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser