Newly launched statistics illustrate the spectacular plunge in cross-border motion final week after Canada and the United States agreed to restrict non-essential travel between the 2 international locations.
The impact of the pandemic restrictions: an 82 per cent drop in border crossings from the U.S. into Canada by land and a 96 per cent plunge in arrivals on U.S. flights.
Those had been the figures launched Tuesday evening by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), displaying travel for the week of March 23-29 in comparison with the identical week a yr earlier.
While industrial travel continues to be broadly permitted, it has nonetheless been walloped by the COVID-19 disaster. The CBSA figures show a 24 per cent drop in truck drivers coming into Canada in comparison with the identical week in 2019.
The statistics spotlight the pandemic-induced impact on the economic system and motion throughout borders.
Amid the mounting variety of COVID-19 circumstances, the Canadian authorities positioned border restrictions on international nationals on March 16 after which, in conjunction with the U.S., suspended non-essential travel throughout the border on March 21.
Restrictions utilized otherwise at completely different crossings
The CBSA numbers prolong past U.S. travel.
The company stated the quantity of worldwide air travellers into Canada was additionally down — by 92 per cent in comparison with the identical week a yr in the past — whereas industrial air site visitors sustained much less injury, declining 16 per cent globally.
The language of the Canada-U.S. settlement permitting some travel is a bit obscure.
It says everlasting residents, college students, navy, cargo and necessary staff can cross the border. But it additionally cites medical functions for instance of necessary travel — with out elaborating additional.
A Canadian immigration lawyer who works with industrial travellers, Andrea Vaitzner, stated cross-border motion has develop into extraordinarily sophisticated.
Vaitzner says the principles are utilized otherwise in completely different locations.
For instance, she stated, U.S. customs officers at one New York border crossing are agreeing to course of Canadians who maintain TN and L-1 U.S. work visas; at one other close by New York crossing, U.S. officers are refusing these visas.
As a consequence, she’s advising industrial purchasers to keep away from travel if they’ll, and most of the people are.
“Fewer and fewer Canadians are travelling to the U.S. for work except it’s to supply an important service,” stated Vaitzner, a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright in Montreal.
“Companies that may proceed working [with workers working] remotely are persevering with to take action.”