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Canada aims to ease restrictions on the US border on June 22nd



The border: The land crossings between Canada and the US were closed to non-essential travel in March 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19.

However, as vaccination rates rise, both national governments are under increasing pressure to come up with a reopening plan to help the ailing tourism industry and families who have been separated for more than a year. On the US side, there were demands on the Biden administration, if necessary, to start easing the American border even without Canada.

Since the first border measures were imposed, countries have been renewing a bilateral agreement from month to month to keep it in place. The next contract expires on June 21st.

Trudeau said at least 75 percent of Canada’s population should get their first doses of Covid vaccine and 20 percent should be fully vaccinated before the country begins easing public health restrictions – including those on the border.

As of May, more than 68 percent of Canadian adults had received at least one dose, while more than 7 percent were fully vaccinated.

“The federal government is nervous,” said Diodati, whose city is heavily dependent on American tourists. “You don’t want to make mistakes or missteps. We get that. “

At the Finish: Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, whose city is across the river from Detroit, also attended the meeting with Blair. He told POLITICO on Monday that Blair had told mayors that Canada was well on its way to breaking Trudeau’s vaccination limit by Jan.

“It is their belief and their predictions that we can achieve this goal by June 21,” said Dilkens. “He said they are looking for a gradual and logically staged reopening.”

Both Dilkens and Diodati said Blair had notified mayors that Canada is on track to have 75 percent of its population fully vaccinated by July 21.

Move in lockstep: Dilkens added that Blair said Canada is looking “for symmetry, coordination and collaboration at the border”.

“From Bill Blair’s mouth to my ears, they think the US can do it on its own,” Dilkens said. “If the US does it alone and it is wide open, in the first few hours you will have thousands of Canadians from my community alone crossing the border.”

The concern with an asymmetrical reopening is that Canadians entering the US may still be subject to strict measures – including a 14-day quarantine – upon their return.

Both mayors said Blair spoke about the possibility of two general currents of travel: partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated. Dilkens said an example noted that travelers with only partial vaccinations would face more restrictions.

Trudeau on the border: The prime minister on Monday revealed new details on Canada’s thoughts on the border.

“We are examining how we will gradually welcome tourists as the numbers in Canada fall while the numbers in the United States and elsewhere in the world fall,” Trudeau said at a virtual event hosted by St. John’s Board of Trade.

He added that Canada needs to ensure travelers are fully vaccinated prior to entry. Trudeau also pointed out concerns about the variants, which still pose challenges in countries like India and the UK.

“We don’t want to risk further outbreaks – a fourth wave would be devastating, not only for the economy, but also for morale.”

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