Canada announced Monday that it will begin leaving fully vaccinated U.S. citizens in Canada on August 9 and those in the rest of the world on September 7.
Officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived from Aug. 9 for eligible travelers currently residing in the United States who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use. in Canada.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said he spoke Friday with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, said the U.S. has not yet indicated any plans to change current restrictions on land. border. Canadians can fly to the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.
Asked in Washington if the U.S. would match, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We continue to review our travel restrictions. Any decisions about resuming travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. … I wouldn’t look at it with reciprocal intent. “
U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, whose district includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls, said the U.S. “has set aside the reopening of the northern border with the attention it deserves and there is no excuse “.
Canadian officials also announced that children who are not vaccinated but travel with vaccinated parents should not be quarantined, but should avoid group activities, including schools and daycares.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra also said the ban on direct flights from India will be extended until August 21 due to the delta variant. “The situation in India remains very serious,” he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada could begin allowing fully vaccinated Americans into the country from August non-essential travel and that it should be able to accommodate fully vaccinated travelers of all ages. countries in early September.
Canada leads the G20 countries vaccination rates, with approximately 80% of eligible Canadians vaccinated with the first dose and more than 50% of eligible fully vaccinated.
“This weekend, we even outperformed the U. S. in terms of people being completely vaccinated,” Trudeau said. “Thanks to rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, we can move forward with tight border measures.”
Reopening in the United States first is a “recognition of our unique bond, especially between border communities,” Trudeau said.
In the early days of the pandemic, the U.S. and Canadian governments closed the more than 5,500-mile (8,800-kilometer) border to non-essential traffic. With rising vaccination rates and falling infection rates, some were upset because the two governments had not established plans to completely reopen the border.
Canada began easing its restrictions earlier this month, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents to return to Canada without being quarantined. But among the requirements is a negative test for the virus before returning, and another when they return.
There has been increasing pressure on Canada to continue easing border restrictions, which have been in place since March 2020. Preventing exemptions from traveling to Canada in the midst of the pandemic is politically sensitive and Trudeau is expected to call elections. federals next month.
Canadian officials have said they would like 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully vaccinated before easing border restrictions for tourists and business travelers. The Canadian government hopes to receive enough vaccine for 80% of eligible Canadians to be fully vaccinated by the end of July. The United States only allowed vaccine exports to Canada in early May.
Trade traffic has been going back and forth normally between the two countries since the beginning of the pandemic.
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that closing the border costs $ 1.5 billion each month. Canadian officials say Canada had about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019, about 15 million from the United States.
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