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'Not in our best interest': B.C. health officials concerned about reopening border with U.S.
VANCOUVER -- While B.C. makes plans to reopen its economy, the province's top health officials say it's not yet time to reopen the U.S. border.
During his daily update with Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday the province isn't ready to allow non-essential travel.
Dix said here in Canada, provinces are working collaboratively with each other, but that's not necessarily the case across the border.
"With respect to the United States right now it would make no sense to have visitors travelling from either Canada to the United States and returning, or to have visitors … travelling from the United States to Canada," he said.
Rules restricting all non-essential travel over the border first came into place on March 21 for 30 days. That restriction was extended for another 30 days in late April and without another extension, would end on May 21.
Henry said health officials have concerns about opening the borders, but also knows reunifying families is important.
"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."
Dix said Premier John Horgan has "repeatedly made this point to the prime minister."
Horgan himself discussed the issue during a virtual town hall meeting last Friday, saying he's had conversations with the governor of Washington State, but that "it'll be a while" before the borders reopen to non-essential travel.
"I also want to make sure that the gains we've made here in British Columbia aren't relieved because we have a group of people coming from south of the border," he said Friday.
"We will see the borders remain closed for the foreseeable future."