Traveling from the United States to Canada is being discouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that even those who are fully vaccinated can be infected and spread the COVID-19 variants.
The CDC evaluates COVID-19 travel warnings from Level 1 (low) to Level 4 (very high) and has labeled Canada as a Level 4 danger zone. The highest level guarantees the following advice from the CDC:
- Travelers should avoid all trips to Canada.
- Due to the current situation in Canada, even fully vaccinated travelers are at risk of obtaining and spreading variants of the COVID-19 and should avoid all travel to Canada.
- If you need to travel to Canada, get fully vaccinated before you travel. All travelers must wear a mask, stand 1.8 m from others, avoid crowds and wash their hands.
The CDC’s warning comes shortly after US representatives Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber, both Minnesota Republicans, encouraged the Canadian border to reopen due to the impact the closure had on Minnesota. economy.
Canada closed its border with the United States for non-essential travelers in March 2020. More recently, emergency regulations have been issued to determine that anyone entering the country must be quarantined for 14 days (some exceptions), provide information of contact and monitor symptoms of COVID-19.
The ban on most non-essential travel from the U.S. to Canada is in effect until April 21, although it can be extended.
Border restrictions between Minnesota and Canada are more difficult for people living on the Northwest Angle – the northernmost point of the contiguous United States that is home to about 120 residents all year round and a dozen resorts. It is only accessible by land via a 40-mile drive through Manitoba, Canada, and two international border crossings.
During the winter, Angle residents built a 30 mile ice road on Lake of the Woods to get in and out, but now that spring has come, the ice road is no more, it is effectively residents trapped until restrictions are lifted. .
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How bad is COVID-19 in Canada?
As in America, it varies depending on where the outbreaks are happening. According to CBC News, Ontario is expected to enter a four-week stoppage starting on Thursday, which will see all non-essentials ordered closed.
Medical officials in Toronto and Ottawa have asked provincial leaders to issue an order to stay at home, while schools in the Toronto area have adopted distance learning.
Ontario borders the USA from Minnesota, east through the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley. The other Canadian province bordering Minnesota is Manitoba, where health officials are concerned about a third wave driven by a variant fueled by Easter weekend gatherings.
Meanwhile, a variant-driven peak is also occurring in Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, where variants B.1.1.7 and P.1 are leading to an increase in the level of cases. Both variants are more contagious and capable of causing more serious illnesses.
B.1.1.7 is now the dominant strain in Minnesota, which was also the first state in the US to use genomic sequencing to confirm a case of P.1. Last week, the state health department had confirmed only three cases of P.1 in Minnesota.
What is essential to travel to Canada?
The following qualifies as essential travel, as requested by Canada:
- Work travel. A cross-border worker must cross the border regularly to go to his normal place of work and demonstrate a regular pattern of travel, which is generally defined as daily or weekly.
- Trade and commerce, including truck drivers
- Medical purposes, such as buying essential products, such as medicines or products necessary to preserve the health and safety of an individual or family
- Emergency response and public health objectives
- Cross-border trade
- Individuals involved in military travel or operations
- Alaskans can travel across Canada to return to their home in Alaska. They must be ready to make a compelling case, so bring supporting documentation, such as a passport, Alaskan driver’s license, utility bills, etc. They must also limit stops along the way.