B.C. health officials adamant Canada-U.S. border should remain closed to visitors


B.C. health officials are adamant the Canada-U.S. border should not reopen to visitors anytime soon as the clock ticks down on the agreement currently banning non-essential travel set to expire May 21. 

Canadian and American officials are in ongoing talks over an expected increase in cross-border travel as economies begin to restart. 

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says traffic over the shared border is bound to increase as states and provinces reopen shuttered businesses, even if the Canada-U.S. ban on non-essential travel remains unchanged. 

But those discussions are being met with growing calls from the provinces not to open up the flow of tourists across the line.

"Absolutely, we have concerns about opening the border," said B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. 

Speaking to reporters during the province's daily COVID-19 news briefing, she acknowledged there is room for leeway with some exceptions aside from tourists.

"We need to look at family reunification, for example; I know it has been very hard on some families who have members on either side of the border," she said. "But broad reopening of the borders is not in our best interest in the coming weeks."