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CDC Advises Americans to Avoid Canada

Credit: Unsplash

I obviously can’t speak for the entirety of the American population, but I can’t say I’ve been especially enthused about the notion of traveling out of the country in the past year. Every country’s personal situation with the COVID-19 pandemic differs slightly from each other, and I can’t say I’d be into the idea of risking my health and safety for a Spring holiday. But apparently, I’m the weirdo, as there are plenty of people out there who still want to get on a plane and go somewhere else. If you absolutely have to leave the country right now, you might at least want to stay out of Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory today that all US citizens should avoid any travel to Canada if possible. The Canadian-American border has been closed to nonessential travel for months now, but essential services, such as commercial travel and business-related commutes, are still permitted to pass through the Whatcom County border crossings. The restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on April 21, though experts expect that deadline to be pushed back.

As for the reason for the CDC’s advisory, Canada has been experiencing smaller, scattered outbreaks of various COVID-19 variants, including ones from the UK and Brazil. Hospitalizations due to these variants are on the rise, to the point that an entire ski resort was forced to close its doors due to a local outbreak of the Brazil variant. Even if you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 yourself, there is still a chance that travel into Canada and back into the US could carry viral particles with you, hence the advisory. Even if you can’t get sick, you could still endanger unvaccinated people around you.

The CDC has stressed that if you absolutely, positively have to go to Canada (and it better be for a really good reason), you should be fully vaccinated, wear a mask, and maintain social distance. A COVID test after returning would also be wise.

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