Trudeau, Biden Talk Reopening Canada-US Border But No Deal Reached

Henrietta Strickland
June 16, 2021

The land border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel for more than a year as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Border measures do not affect the flow of trade.

U.S. restrictions prevent most non-US citizens who have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within the last 14 days from traveling to the United States. Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax the restrictions.

The government has already said it will relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens who are eligible to return to Canada in early July.

Trudeau said he had talked with Biden after the G7 summit in the United Kingdom "about coordinating border measures as the two countries proceed with mass vaccination".

As more people get vaccinated against the virus, both governments are facing questions as to how long the border will stay closed and whether more people will be allowed to cross this summer.

Reuters reported on June 8 the Biden administration was forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to determine how best to safely restart travel after 15 months of pandemic restrictions.

"We will continue to work closely together to move forward in the right way, but each of us always puts the interests and safety of our own citizens at the forefront", Trudeau was asked in a Biden conversation.

According to the premier, many details of the federal government's plan to reopen borders remain unclear, like if Canada will require proof of vaccination for worldwide travellers entering the country.

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