Today the federal government announced new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. I support these measures, but I believe they need to go further. Given the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the US, particularly in the border states of Washington and New York, the federal government should immediately restrict non-essential travel from the US. Requiring tourists from the US to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival is simply not adequate or realistic. The Trump administration has failed woefully to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. Governors and mayors are stepping up but they are now fighting an uphill battle, and unfortunately we know how bad it could get based on events worldwide. If the current circumstances in the US were applied to any other country there would be absolutely no question that non-essential travel from that country into Canada would be shut down.
There has been a great deal of information and education online about the steps we Canadians need to take to "flatten the curve" and safeguard our health care system through this pandemic. Which is why the decision to allow non-essential travel from the US just doesn't make sense. What happens when tourists fall ill in Canada? They need care. And we provide it. That's why right now, tourists are not what we need.
Canadian health officials and border service personnel are already under immense pressure to protect the safety of Canadians. I appreciate the tremendous work these officials are doing to protect us all. Restricting American tourists from entering Canada at this time would bring some relief to their already burdened workload, and allow them to focus on returning Canadians. That is where their focus needs to be.