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Canada’s borders are now open to fully-vaccinated U.S. travellers. But is it the right time?

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For the first time in over 500 days, there is a lineup on the border bridges connecting Canada to the United States.

Travellers from the U.S. and permanent residents are lining up to enter Canada after border restrictions were eased Monday morning for Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

But with cases of the Delta variant and resurgence of the virus gripping both nations, is now the best time to reopen?

Some experts say the answer isn’t as simple as a “yes” or “no.”

 

“It’s like nailing jello to the wall,” Dr. Julia Zarb, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, told Global News.

 

Every time you solve one aspect of it, there’s some other aspect that pops up.

Surges of new information and masses of data help public health officials track, trace and predict the spread of COVID-19. According to Zarb, there are too many variables to consider to determine whether reopening the border is the right or wrong thing to do

 

We open the borders, but we can’t really predict the number of people who are going to come over. We can’t predict that behaviour,” she said, as an example.

 

The ongoing challenge in COVID is that we have to rapidly move that evidence and understanding into policy and application,” she said.

 

Our systems in place before COVID weren’t built for situational awareness that calibrates, re-strategizes things, considers all these perspectives much more like you would in a strategic and tactical assessment in a battlefield. That’s how we have to behave now.”

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