As the pandemic continues to sweep the US, Canadians are getting more and more concerned about what American visitors could be bringing with them over the border.
Built directly on the border of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia, the Peace Arch is a 67-foot high (20 metres) testament to the close ties between Canada and the US.
Inscribed on one side are the words “May these gates never be closed”, a reminder of the nearly 8,891 km (5,525 miles) of un-militarised border that separates the two nations.
For almost 100 years, those words have been heeded – until the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut the border indefinitely.
The closure came into effect on 21 March, and was agreed upon by both governments. After being extended several times over the summer, the closure remains in effect until 21 August – although most expect the closure to be extended again.
“I never thought I’d be sitting here mid-August and that border is still closed,” says Len Saunders, a dual citizen who lives in Blaine.
“It just seems to be dragging on and on and on with no end in sight.”
While the border closure has had significant economic and personal repercussions for the millions of people that live along it or have loved ones on the other side, the vast majority of Canadians want it to stay shut.