In his daily COVID-19 press briefing at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Premier Doug Ford expressed concerns of a second COVID-19 wave if the Canada-U.S. borders were to reopen for non-essential cross-border travelling.
The Premier said he spoke to an expert on the matter who had advised him that it would not be wise to reopen the borders to the U.S and allow international travel during this time.
“He said, ‘you know when the second wave is going to happen when you fully open up and you let people from around the world come back into Canada,’” Premier Ford told reporters.
“I know it’s inevitable and we got to do it. I just don’t think we are ready right now. You see what’s happening down in the states; you look at Florida, you look at Texas, Arizona, California. I don’t want to be those states. I want to protect the people here in Ontario” added the Premier.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the United States came into an agreement that will effectively close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential traveller until at least July 21.
Notably, this was the third time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where the border closure agreement had been extended to prevent further spread of the virus.
Communities closer to the borders and the tourism industry in Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada, have been pressing the federal government to reopen the border and allow for the much-needed international travel which helped contribute to the economy.
While Premier Doug Ford expressed his understanding of the growing frustration and pressure from the tourism industry and communities, he told reporters he is adamant that he wants the border to remain closed even after July 21.
“I just think we are opening it up too early if the decision is made on July 21. I just don’t think we’re ready for people south of the border,” said the Premier.
“Believe me, I love the Americans, make no mistake about it, but not when there are COVID cases are just spiking right now and I’m just not in favour. I got to protect the people of Ontario.”
Ontario’s COVID-19 Statistics as of June 25:
As of Thursday afternoon, Health Officials in Ontario have reported 189 new cases of COVID-19.
With the addition of the new cases, Ontario currently has 34,205 total cases of COVID-19. Additionally, ten more deaths were recorded bringing the total of the province to 2,641 deaths.
According to the summary released on Thursday, 58 of Ontario’s new cases came from patients in Toronto, 50 from the Peel Region, 19 from the York Region and 10 from the Waterloo Region.
The remaining 30 cases are recorded at local public health units across Ontario with fewer than 10 cases per public health unit.
To date, the Province of Ontario has reported that 1.2 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted, with more than 27,000 tests recorded in the past 24-hour period.
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