Canada extends nonessential travel restrictions to July 21

19 Juin, 2021, 04:34 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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The land border between Canada and the United States will remain closed until at least July 21.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair also said restrictions on travel to other countries would continue, but added the Canadian government would begin to flesh out planned exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers on Monday.

Ottawa will reveal on June 21 how it plans to start lifting the measures for fully vaccinated Canadians and others who are now permitted to enter Canada, he added.

The border between Canada and the United States has remained closed to all nonessential travel for over a year.

The pressure to relax the restrictions has been building from businesses on both sides of the border, and increasingly from American lawmakers as vaccination rates climb in Canada.

Canada's decision to prioritize first doses, however, has created a gap on full vaccinations: about 45 per cent of Americans have had two doses, compared to just 16 per cent in Canada.

"That is something that we will have in place in the coming weeks so that people can have a few more options, if they're fully vaccinated, this summer", the prime minister said.

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Twenty-four million Canadians - 64 percent of the population - have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I can tell you there is tremendous focus on making sure we're working together to do this as quickly and safely as possible because we all want to get back to normal, which means, yes moving quickly, but it also means avoiding any further massive waves", he said.

The government had previously indicated Canada would have 55 million doses delivered by the end of July, but because deliveries were not confirmed that figure did not include doses from Moderna, which along with Pfizer has made up the vast majority of doses distributed. The restrictions were announced in March, 2020 in the early months of the pandemic and have been extended every month since.

She reiterated that Canadians who get one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are very well protected against COVID-19, despite new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Thursday that all Canadians should only get mRNA vaccines from now on. And Atlantic Canada will be closed to Canadians from elsewhere in Canada well into July.

She stressed however Canada is getting a fair deal for the lifesaving vaccines.

Travellers will need to have been fully vaccinated 14 days or more before they arrive in Canada.

He said he understood growing impatience from tourism operators and Canadians who want to travel, but the government didn't want to risk another flare-up of COVID-19.

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