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Discussion: U.S. border reopening on June 22?

in: Orienteering; General

May 26, 2021 6:55 PM # 
Report that the US will reopen its border to travellers from Canada on June 22nd:

which correspond to the date the US and Mexico are talking about reopening their border:

I've seen no such report with respect to Canada opening the border, but Trudeau had previously mentioned in a press conference reopening the border once 75% of Canadians have had at least one vaccine dose. With more than 50% of Canadians having received at least one dose (that's the percentage of all Canadians, not just adults that had been eligible to be vaccinated) and with the Canadian government saying they have assurances for at least 40 million doses arriving in June, 75% with one dose and a significant percentage with two doses seems readily attainable by June 22.
May 26, 2021 7:39 PM # 
Interesting! Have you seen anything about the two-week quarantine period being waived for people returning from the U.S.? As long as that is still required, it's hard to imagine many Canadians going to the U.S. unless (a) their reason is really important, and/or (b) they can stay home and get groceries delivered for two weeks after their trip.

EDIT: The article suggests that this U.S. move will put pressure on the Canadian government regarding the 2-week quarantine.
May 26, 2021 8:06 PM # 
With the COVID numbers having dropped so much in the US, it's getting hard to see a justification for a 2-week quarantine for someone entering Ontario from New York, but not someone entering Ontario from Quebec.

A two-week quarantine would be a huge problem for someone wanting to come to Canada for an O event. I did a two -week quarantine last July and for me it was not a real problem living alone and doing all my work remotely even before COVID. I made sure I was well stocked with groceries in advance, including a very full freezer. Then I also placed orders for three meal service deliveries over the two weeks. But certainly having to do a two-week quarantine wouldn't work for a lot of people.
May 26, 2021 8:18 PM # 
Having gotten my first dose at the beginning of May, I'm hoping to be able to move up my second dose appointment to the beginning of July based on indications I've seen, mostly out of the UK, that the optimum gap for older adults between the first and second doses may be about 2 months in terms of not having too much attenuation of the effect of the first dose, while getting a more long-lasting benefit overall.

Otherwise, if I'm able to drive across the border by then, I'd look at taking a trip to Ohio in early July and getting my second dose there.

In that respect, official Canadian data on numbers who have been vaccinated would understate the actual number in not including Canadians who have gotten vaccinated in the US, such as the many Canadians who spend the winter in Florida.
May 27, 2021 7:47 PM # 
On the other hand, from today's White House press briefing:

"Press secretary Jen Psaki was asked today about a media report that cited unnamed sources saying the U.S. wants to lift the border restrictions by June 22.

Psaki says she's not aware that any decisions have been made."

Not actually a denial, and the White House is currently dealing with plenty of issues that are much bigger from its perspective. It's also possible that preparations are being made in anticipation even though a final decision hasn't been made.
May 27, 2021 10:14 PM # 
Ahh the old 'not aware' defence, the non-committal politician's best friend when he or she doesn't want to reveal information to the public.
May 28, 2021 8:28 AM # 
Off the mark a bit here tRicky. Yes there is the 'not aware' defence but it is not likely here.
This is far more likely a case of a member of the media tossing out an idea to see what kind of reaction it garners. It is like youngsters tossing spitballs at the classroom ceiling to see if they can get them to stick. You toss out an idea. Perhaps the unwary press secretary bites on it and gives a comment that becomes your story for the day, maybe a few days if you are lucky.
There is another strategy you probably already know. It is called the 'trial balloon'. Government is thinking of doing something - like re-opening a border- but is not sure what the public or the opposition reaction will be. So they get someone to put the idea out there then they watch for the reaction in the press, the public and the opposition parties. If there is too much heat they can still deny it is policy. Thus often comes in the 'not aware' defence.
May 28, 2021 8:31 AM # 
I can confidently declare that Australia will reopen its border to the US sometime next year although I'm not aware of any politicians that have yet revealed this info.
May 28, 2021 11:53 AM # 
Ha! Australia doesn't have a border with the US!
May 28, 2021 12:32 PM # 
That you’re aware of.
May 28, 2021 1:00 PM # 
Yes it does. At the South Pole.
May 28, 2021 2:42 PM # 
May 28, 2021 3:27 PM # 
Is that a philosophical question about whether a point can be a border, or something else? You could clearly cross from the Australian territorial claim to the US one over the pole in a single step.
May 28, 2021 3:30 PM # 
Oh wow, today I learned that claims over land in the Antarctic are completely insane.
May 28, 2021 4:00 PM # 
On the basis that the Australian government wouldn't actually have border agents stationed at the South Pole, that border wouldn't reopen because it effectively wouldn't have closed. The US station at the South Pole is permanently occupied and I really doubt people living there over the past year would have said, let's not step into Australian (or NZ) territory because their borders are closed.
May 28, 2021 5:09 PM # 
What US territorial claim? I see only GBR, NOR, AUS, FRA, NZL, CHL, and ARG. The US has a research station at the south pole, but is one of a half-dozen countries that have facilities in Antarctica but no territorial claims.
May 28, 2021 6:30 PM # 
Fair enough. I was assuming that the US claimed territory around Amundsen Scott, but it apparently doesn't. (Perhaps the Russians should claim that area.)
May 28, 2021 7:28 PM # 
The US station at the South Pole is permanently occupied and I really doubt people living there over the past year would have said, let's not step into Australian (or NZ) territory because their borders are closed.

Yup, the US doesn't maintain or recognize any territorial claims in Antarctica.

I worked here for six months on the hotly-contested-by-Argentina-Chile-and-UK Antarctic Peninsula. A main lab at UK's Rothera Station just down the coast from us burned to the ground while I was there ... "electrical short"? Hmm.
May 28, 2021 8:55 PM # 
Russia has already filed a claim to the North Pole, but then so have Canada and Denmark.
May 28, 2021 10:41 PM # 
Australia doesn't have many quirky borders compared to other parts of the world, but the existence of a land border between Tasmania and Victoria is a good one. Not sure if anyone bothered to close it.
May 28, 2021 11:54 PM # 
Do you think the French allow Australians across their Antarctic border into the other Australia?
May 29, 2021 12:54 AM # 
I just saw something about that Tasmania-Victoria boundary yesterday. What a weird coincidence.
May 29, 2021 2:50 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Get close to the pole, and you could jump across the french territory
May 29, 2021 6:18 AM # 
You could pole vault your way over.
May 29, 2021 7:15 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
As long as you don't plant your pole in the french territory
May 29, 2021 8:01 AM # 
You'd still be violating French airspace. Airspace matters - just ask Belarusian journalists.
May 29, 2021 10:56 AM # 
My dad ran a "Round The World" 5K at the South Pole nearly 20 years ago. I imagine there was little to no coordination regarding border crossings.
May 29, 2021 11:08 AM # 
Ooh new parkrun location!
May 29, 2021 1:57 PM # 
Believe it or not, there was already an Antarctic Orienteering Championships (or at least, it was planned and announced, I don't know if it actually happened). IIRC an orienteer named Michael Burton was working at Amundsen-Scott about 30 years ago and made a map of the buildings down there, and said he'd hold an event for whoever could show up. I doubt anybody made the trip, but it's possible that people working at the station participated.

There's also been a control at the north pole (at least once): when Steve Stibler was in the US Navy, his submarine surfaced there and he put a control on the conning tower. (I have a grainy B&W photo of that in an old newsletter somewhere.)

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