Your Stanley’s border update – short form “a lot of information with no definitive opening date”
What we know: The Canada / US border is currently closed till June 21st.
The Government of Canada has recently given us some goalposts to meet in order for the Canada / US border to reopen. The Feds state that Canada has to achieve a vaccination rate of 75% of Canadians with their first vaccine dose, and 20% of Canadians who have received both vaccine doses in order to facilitate a reopening. Now in past posts I have mentioned that Canada has been lagging in the vaccination front, mostly due to lack of supply. Well good news… we are catching up. We have gone from mid 30’s in list of most vaccinated countries, up to around 6th. The vaccination clinics are running smoother, the online booking system is getting over its hiccups, and walk in vaccination clinics with no appointment necessary are now common. This has put Canada at almost 58% of the population with at least one dose, now the amount of people who have received their 2nd shot is substantial lower. Now we have seen in the US that the rate of vaccinations will plateau after a while as you start to see some with vaccine hesitancy. Based on our media reports we have not seen a huge amount of people opposed to the vaccine, and most are anxious to receive theirs. So, we are hopeful to see our vaccination rate continue to climb towards the full vaccination levels. Where does this rate of vaccination project we arrive at the 75% / 20% level in terms of a calendar date? It puts us around the end of June. What does this mean, well I get to that in a bit.
Ontario has been a Covid hotspot for the last several months. Ontario has the largest population in Canada (14 million) as well as the largest city in Canada (Toronto – 6 million). Because of the high daily Covid numbers, our provincial government has had us in a lockdown for the last several months. Most businesses are closed or only able to offer curbside pick up only. The restrictions have resulted in a dramatic slide in our daily numbers, but some could argue, we were on the backside of the curve along with increased vaccinations rates. Ontario has unveiled a slow phased in re-opening plan, with some restrictions being lifted every 21 days starting in June and going all the way into July and August. Where we are situated in this plan as a hunting and fishing lodge is not clear right now.
Just today we have seen some media reports of the US planning to reopen their border with Canada on June 21st. Canada and the US have had the borders closed since March of 2020 and extend the closure 30 days at time. The next extension is set to expire on June 21st. If the US does lift their closure, it will not really mean much more than a political move, and to put pressure on Canada, (which is what we need). Canada may still keep their border closed past the June 21st date, and even if they did open it, until the 14 day mandatory quarantine for all arriving people at the border is lifted things will not change at all. This discussion can be seen as a step in the right direction towards the full re-opening.
Part 4 – Conclusion, speculation, opinion, hopes & dreams
Do I think that Canada will re open the border on June 21st? No I do not. Do I think that Canada will reopen the border once we reach the 75% / 20% level? Somehow I think that once we reach that level, we will get an announcement that will outline a plan, that will take further time to implement to open the border (that is how our government seems to operate).
Where does this leave us? I am afraid to even make a prediction…. I am happy to see that the border is getting a lot of coverage in the media, and the government has shown us the goalposts (75% / 20%). I am happy our vaccination levels are rapidly rising, and our daily Covid cases falling. The anticipation level of all this is the difficult part to deal with for us and yourselves that have actual dates on the calendar that do not quite correspond to “the border will open soon”.
Well, here is my personal thoughts based on the most up to date information I have read and interpreted.
Optimistic – between June 21 and July 21.
Realistic – around July 21
Pessimistic – between July 21 and August 21.
Zombie apocalypse - between August 21 and September 21.
That is all I have, and information is changing and evolving daily. I hope my thoughts have provided some insight, but please note that these are only my observations.
What else do I have…Yesterday was mid 70’s, today mid 30’s and snow squalls. We did make it out last week for opening week of fishing for a few hours. Was beautiful weather but a bit cool on the water. We all caught some nice fish and enjoyed a few hours out on the lake.
We sure miss everyone, and can’t wait till we actually get to see you. Take care and I’ll update as soon as I know more.