During a press conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau urged Canadians to stay in the country and avoid all unnecessary travel. He stated that they are monitoring all of the new strains of COVID-19 in Brazil and the U.K. Trudeau consequently appeared on CTV News and warned Canadians that the borders could “...close with zero warning,” and that “it’s not worth the risk of being stuck outside of Canada, unable to return.”
With the numbers on the rise, the curve barely flattening, and multiple strains of the virus popping up around the globe, our best option may indeed be to close the borders in order to gain control of the second wave. With non-essential travel outside of the country occurring daily and people being exhausted by our self-isolation restrictions after travel, it’s no wonder that we cannot flatten the curve.
We know that closing the borders and limiting travel to only essential trips helped significantly over the course of 2020 when we saw numbers in Alberta drop to 334 active cases. These were the lowest numbers seen in months. If closing the border is the best call, we should get on with it immediately and get our economy flowing again.
Small business owners are truly suffering during this second wave. We have lost hundreds of thousands of small businesses across Canada since COVID began a year ago in January 2020. 43.9% of businesses have been unable to take on more debt, with an additional 30.4% not knowing how much longer their business can continue to survive based on their expenses and current income, despite the government's financial assistance. We need to gain control of the situation to allow businesses to survive and to give our economy a fighting chance to recover. Closing the border might just be the first step to healing out country.
Currently there are no travel bans in place, excluding the U.S.-Canada border; the only other rule that applies is that each traveler must test negative for COVID before they can board a plane and return to Canada.