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Americans crossing the border into Canada are not going to be the primary reason Canada experiences a fourth wave of COVID-19, according to the country's top doctor.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that while the country's top public health officials will be monitoring the reopening of the border on August 9 closely, she believes the bigger threat of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases comes from within Canada.

"If we're going to get a fourth wave, based on our modelling, including modelling importations, it's likely to be driven by domestic transmission events rather than importation cases," she said during a COVID-19 update on Thursday.

"Right now we're taking a precautionary and phased approach to the border reopening, so only fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to come in without quarantining. But they still have to take a test before they leave and they still will be tested after they arrive for the foreseeable future."

How will COVID-19 cases at the border be managed?

Tam said public health officials will use data on test positivity rates to determine the risk of COVID-19 cases being brought into Canada from the United States. That data will be used to "adjust [their] stance" on border controls, she said.

"For now, all the indicators are still pointing in the right direction for that next phase in terms of a border approach," she added.

On Friday, August 6, almost 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers began "work-to-rule" action, which union representatives warned could create delays at the border.

It's back, baby! Greyhound bus service between Canada and the U.S. is set to resume within weeks and the company says it's ready to "reconnect."

After 19 months of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services across the border will restart as of November 8, when the U.S. land border reopens to fully vaccinated Canadians and other travellers.

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