BANFF, Alta. –
The last of Canada’s COVID-19 border restrictions is set to disappear at the end of this month, but some critics say they fear the measures have already caused a lasting decline in cross-border travel.
Meredith Lilly, an associate professor at Carleton University and former international trade adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, says her own research shows Canadians’ cross-border day trips to the United States never fully recovered after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
She attributes this to the tightened US border controls put in place after this event.
Lilley says the two and a half years that mandatory vaccination, testing and quarantine requirements were in place for international travelers was likely long enough to change the habits of some Americans, who will no longer consider visiting Canada in the future.
Statistics Canada reported on Friday that the number of international arrivals to this country increased in July even though it remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
The agency says the number of trips by U.S. residents in July was 2.2 million, 11 times the number of trips taken in July 2021, but still about sixty percent of trips reported in July 2019.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 23, 2022.
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