Though the border remains closed for the next few weeks, the Windsor-Detroit tunnel is preparing to reopen to the masses.
Once COVID-19 hit, only essential workers were able to travel by land between Ontario and Michigan, with family members recently being added to the list. For these reasons the tunnel has remained open, but with the border crossing restrictions set to expire on Sept. 21, CEO of Windsor Detroit Borderlink Limited Carolyn Brown told CBC's Windsor Morning they're ready to accept travellers again should the federal government not make another extension.
"[We're] fully equipped to make that turn around," Brown said, adding that they have already implemented cashless tolls, enhanced cleaning measures and are prepared to provide employees with personal protective equipment.
She said they have already sent out a survey to understand the reasons people will be crossing the border when it does reopen.
Overall, tunnel revenue has been down, Brown said. When only essential workers were allowed to cross, revenue dropped by 80 per cent and saw only a slight improvement when family members started crossing.
"We will be in good shape throughout the rest of the year, our worst case scenario is that the traffic doesn't rebound until 2021," Brown said.
But, the travel restriction, she said, isn't the only thing that needs to be lifted to attract people — the mandatory quarantine measure must also be removed.
At this time, anyone travelling outside of Canada must quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
This measure, Brown said, is what will likely discourage people from crossing.
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