President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week to begin discussions with Canada to plan the eventual re-opening of America’s northern border.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday that he hasn’t heard anything specific about how any potential border plan would affect the Green Mountain State.
“I think we just all want the same thing,” he said. “We just want to open up the borders as quick as we can when it’s safe to do so.”
The governor said that he, and Vermont Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak, monitor border-related developments carefully. “We keep track of that data on a daily basis, watching what’s happening in Quebec in particular, because it does impact us — it’s part of our region,” Scott said. “So, we want to get there — where the borders open up — as quick as possible, but we don’t want to get there quicker than we can take care of it, either.”
Americans and Canadians have been barred from non-essential travel across the border for more than ten months. Scott acknowledged that neither country has as strong a handle on the virus as they’d like.
“We still see the positivity rate is escalated from where it was during the summer, so we have some concerns (about Canada),” he said. “They have concerns about what they’re seeing in the U.S. as well, particularly in states that border us like New York, for instance. Their cases have increased dramatically.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Canadians to cancel travel plans not only to the U.S., but domestically, and to expect tighter travel restrictions in the near future. “Nothing is off the table,” he said. “We will not hesitate to take even tougher measures, if and when they’re needed, and we’ll be making an announcement in the coming days.”
It’s not clear yet what kind of response Biden’s executive order will draw from Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who revealed on Sunday that he himself has tested positive for COVID-19.