TORONTO (AP) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. Canada It is possible to start allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada in mid-August for non-essential travel and be able to receive fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.
Trudeau spoke with Canadian provincial leaders, and his office released a recording of the call. He noted that if the current positive trend in vaccination rates and health status in Canada continues, the border could open.
“By early September, Canada will be able to host fully vaccinated travelers from all countries,” the report said. “He noted ongoing discussions with the United States on plans for reopening, and indicated that we can expect from mid-August to begin allowing fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents to enter Canada for non-essential travel.”
Trudeau noted that Canada continues to lead the G20 in terms of vaccination rates, with approximately 80% of eligible Canadians vaccinated with the first dose, and over 50% of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated. He said the number of cases and severe illnesses continued to decline across the country as vaccination rates continued to rise.
In the early days of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed more than 5,500 miles (8,800 km) of border to non-essential traffic. With the increase in vaccinations and the decline in infection rates, some were annoyed that the two governments had not developed detailed plans to fully reopen the border.
Earlier this month, Canada began to loosen its restrictions, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents to return to Canada without quarantine. But among the demands is a negative test for the virus before they return and another when they return.
Pressure is mounting on Canada to continue easing border restrictions that have been in effect since March last year.
Providing travel benefits to Canada amid the pandemic is politically sensitive and Trudeau is expected to call federal elections next month.
Trudeau said his ministers will share more details on the border early next week.
Commercial traffic between the two countries has typically shuttled back and forth since the start of the pandemic. Canadians may fly to the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the monthly border closure costs $ 1.5 billion. Canadian officials say approximately 22 million foreign visitors visited Canada in 2019, of which approximately 15 million were from the United States.
Tom Webb, a 63-year-old retired US Navy pilot from Orchard Park, New York, said he is seriously considering selling his cottage in Georgian Bay, Ontario after not having access to it. for almost two years. He is vaccinated. “I’m very upset,” he said.
Canadian officials have said they would like 75% of eligible Canada residents to be fully vaccinated before easing border restrictions for tourists and business travelers. The Canadian government expects that by the end of July enough vaccine will be delivered to 80% of eligible Canadians who will be fully vaccinated. The US did not allow the export of vaccines to Canada until early May.
Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to get an exemption to allow Toronto to play home games starting July 30. Allowing unvaccinated players to enter the country remains a stumbling block, but protocols will be put in place. The Blue Jays played their home games in the shortened 2020 season in Buffalo, NY, and started that season in Dunedin, Florida, and then moved to Buffalo.
The Canadian government has not allowed the team to play at home in Toronto due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, citing the need for frequent travel to the United States during baseball season.
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