Ontario's top doctor warns of the COVID-19 risks of travelling to the U.S.

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Travellers cross the Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Niagara Falls, New York through the fog on November 8, 2021. - The United States reopened its land and air borders Monday to foreign visitors fully vaccinated against Covid-19, ending 20 months of travel restrictions that separated families, hobbled tourism and strained diplomatic ties. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ontario's chief medical officer of health had some words of caution for people in Ontario who want to travel to the U.S. related to the associated COVID-19 risks.

"It really is a risk assessment," Dr. Kieran Moore said at a press conference on Thursday. "At a provincial rate, our number’s around 28 cases per 100,000, as soon as you go across the border to Michigan, New York, you’re looking at rate of illness five to six times higher."

This comes after reports that the federal government will be removing the requirement for travellers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test for trips shorter than 72 hours.

"If anyone’s going to across the border, please do a risk assessment, make sure that you’re taking all appropriate precautions, that you’re wearing your mask, you’re performing your hand hygiene, you’re distancing, because the risk as soon as you leave and go to the United Staes is higher than what we’re experiencing now in Ontario," Dr. Moore said.

"Even two-dose vaccinated, you can get COVID-19. It’s a highly effective vaccine but there is a small percentage that can get the virus. Monitor for symptoms, get tested if you get symptoms, but please assess the risk."

On Thursday, Ontario reported 722 new COVID-19 cases across the province, the highest the daily case number has been since Sept. 24. There are 129 people in ICUs in Ontario due to COVID-19.