Coronavirus scare mounts tension at US-Canada border
- The borders of the two countries had been closed since March 21
- Non-essential travel between the two countries is forbidden
- US is the worst-hit nation in the world with 5.21 million cases
The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the US has become a never-ending concern for the Canadians. As part of the safety measures, the borders of the two countries had been closed since March 21 and will continue to remain shut till August 21, with a likely chance for it to be extended, reported BBC.
Even though the closure of the border has a considerable amount of economic and personal repercussions, majority of the Canadians want it shut. According to the BBC report, a July poll by Ipsos Reid found that eight in ten Canadians wanted the border to stay closed at least till the end of 2020.
Tension between American drivers and Canadian residents also continues. Although non-essential travel is forbidden, drivers who transport goods and people who work in essential services across the border are allowed to cross. But cases of harassment and vehicles with American licence plate being vandalised are being reported.
Mr Saunders, an immigration lawyer, told BBC, “They’re all scared of driving their cars in the lower mainland because of vandalism, dirty looks and just getting treated as some 'horrible American'.”
About 300,000 people crossed the border each day before coronavirus, including Canadians who regularly made daytrips to score a bargain at US outlet malls or gas stations, and American tourists seeking Niagara Falls’s wonders. According to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), there has been a drop of at least 95 percent in the non-commercial land border crossings to Canada.
Giving a view in the economic sense, Ambarish Chandra, a professor of economics at the University of Toronto, explained that its necessary for the government to give aid to border towns as they rely mainly on foreign tourism. But he also maintained that the borders be closed until the pandemic gets to a halt, reported BBC.
Canada has so far recorded 121 thousand cases, and the US, which remains at the top in terms of cases, has recorded 5.21 million cases.