A poll by market research firm Ipsos revealed 85% of Canadians prefer to keep the U.S.-Canada border closed through the remainder of 2020, GlobalNews reports. Currently the shared border is closed to non-essential travel through 21AUG.
Politicians seem aligned with the public’s wishes. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly stated Canada will not rush to lift the travel restrictions currently in place, reiterating his commitment to keeping Canadians safe and cautioning that reopening too soon risks new outbreaks.
Air Canada’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Ferio Pugliese, told OJ Canada’s travel restrictions were appropriate several months ago when the pandemic was full blown, but as the coronavirus curve flattens and people are more inclined to be personally responsible, he argues the current travel restrictions and quarantine measures are outdated.
He noted countries around the world are taking a scientific-based approach to managing and vetting incoming air travellers, a strategy Air Canada implored the federal government to adopt in a letter issued last week.
“I do believe there is now room for us to, in a measured way, look at ways in which we can now start to adjust some of the travel restrictions and measures that have been put in place,” he told OJ’s Nina Slawek.
“There are very competent and effective health authorities that have lifted 14-day quarantines and they have done it with science. I think it’s time Canada takes a very, very hard look at that. It’s probably the single most important factor impacting travel demand today.”
As part of his role at AC, Pugliese is responsible for negotiating with federal ministers as the country reopens its travel sector. At this time, he said, while it’s “tough to say” whether the quarantine requirements will be extended past its current 21AUG expiry date, there’s “good potential” that will happen.
The Ipsos poll revealed additional insight as to how hesitant everyday Canadians are about foreign visitors.
Notably, 90% of respondents believe a mandatory 14-day quarantine should be enforced for anyone entering the country, and 92% said travelling south of the border would be too risky for them this year.
Even domestic travel is not in the cards for many Canadians, with more than 60% saying travel to another province this summer is too risky.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ’s newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she’s new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.