When Will it End? Canadian Border Closure Extended Yet Again
The wait to cross the Canadian/U.S. border continues. The closure to all non-essential travel was set to end June 21 but it was extended again to July 21.
The border has been closed since March 2020 and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair said they won't open up until it's safe to do so, "whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to ensure all Canadians are protected against COVID-19.
Congressmen and Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group Co-Chairs Brian Higgins and Bill Huizengawhose released a joint statement urging leaders to come up with a clear plan on how and when to open.
"Millions of Americans and Canadians are counting on our governments to work together to reach an agreement that provides a clear roadmap for reopening the border. The lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations is a disservice to our constituents and the millions of residents on both sides of the border waiting to see their loved ones, visit their property, and renew business ties. The inability of the U.S. and Canadian governments to reach an agreement on alleviating border restrictions is simply unacceptable.”
There may be light at the end of the tunnel though. Blair says government officials are working on measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, Permanent Residents, and others who are currently permitted to start entering Canada soon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants at least 75 percent of Canada’s population to have their first COVID vaccine before opening the border, and 20 percent to be fully vaccinated.
When the border does finally open it'll only be for a small number of travelers. "The first step is to allow fully vaccinated individuals currently permitted to enter Canada to do so without the requirement to stay in government-authorized accommodation," Health Minister Patty Hajdu told reporters.
Fully vaccinated travelers may still be required to take a COVID test before crossing the border and again after arriving in Canada. Plus, they'll have to quarantine until they receive the test results, according to Reuters.