Canada extends ban on non-essential travel with USA until July 21

Ruben Hill
June 19, 2021

On Friday, the federal government announced that it was extending its border restrictions on non-essential worldwide travel for another month.

"As we have said, the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, Permanent Residents, and others who are now permitted to enter Canada and will provide further details on Monday, June 21", wrote Bill Blair, inister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Blair added that further details surrounding new measures for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents would be announced on June 21. The restrictions, which came into effect in March 2020, exempt the flow of trade and commerce, as well as the movement of vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said that it would take 75 per cent of Canadians getting vaccinated before restrictions can be lifted.

The province has sent mixed messages in recent days about whether people who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should get a second dose of the same vaccine or opt for one of the others.

"We're still seeing cases across the country and we want to get them down", Trudeau said, according to The Associated Press.

The accelerated vaccine rollout in Canada is adding pressure to at least partially reopen the USA border after a fifteen-month shutdown.

Travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S.

In a string of tweets, Blair noted that Canadian safety was his priority as we continue to fight COVID-19.

"That's what I talked with the premiers about last night and I can tell you there is tremendous focus on making sure we are doing this as quickly and safely as possible".

USA -bound air travellers, including those who are fully vaccinated, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months, before they board a flight.

The decision garnered immediate criticism from some American lawmakers, including the two Congressmen who co-chair the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group.

Vaccination rates are one of the key benchmarks Trudeau's government is considering before allowing more non-essential travel.

"That means we have to really make sure that not only people who are fully vaccinated can travel, but the communities to which they return are not at risk, because even though they are protected from hospitalization, the people around them might not be", the prime minister said.

Trudeau said that for the initial phase, the federal government is working with the ArriveCAN app to allow individuals to upload a picture of their proof of vaccination so border agent can confirm they are fully vaccinated.

"We've been quite supportive of the government coming up with a policy and a mechanism on how it's going to capture that data".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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