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Canada to let vaccinated Americans into the country in August

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TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that Canada could allow fully-vaccinated Americans into Canada for non-essential travel beginning in mid-August and should be able to welcome fully-vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.

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Trudeau spoke to leaders from Canada’s provinces and his office released a readout of the call. He noted that if Canada’s current positive path of vaccination coverage and public health conditions continues, the border could open.
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“Canada could welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries in early September,” the readout said. “He noted the ongoing discussions with the United States about reopening plans and indicated that we could expect to allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents in Canada for non-essential travel from mid-August.”

Trudeau noted that Canada continues to lead the G20 countries in vaccination rates: about 80% of eligible Canadians have been vaccinated on their first dose, and more than 50% of eligible Canadians have been fully vaccinated. He said the number of cases and serious illnesses across the country continue to decline as vaccination rates continue to rise.

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In the early days of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed the more than 5,500-mile border to non-essential traffic. With vaccination rates rising and infection rates falling, some were annoyed that the two governments hadn’t elaborate detailed plans to fully reopen the border.

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In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government closed the more than 5,500-mile border to non-essential traffic.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government closed the more than 5,500-mile border to non-essential traffic.
REUTERS

Canada started easing restrictions earlier this month, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents to return to Canada without going into quarantine. But one of the requirements is a negative test for the virus before they return, and another when they come back.

Pressure is mounting on Canada to further ease border restrictions, which have been in place since March last year.

Providing waivers for travel to Canada during the pandemic is politically sensitive, and Trudeau is expected to call federal elections next month.

Trudeau said his ministers would share more details about the border early next week.

Commercial traffic has moved normally back and forth between the two countries since the start of the pandemic. Canadians are allowed to fly into the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the reopening of the border to fully vaccinated Americans in August 2021.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the reopening of the border to fully vaccinated Americans in August 2021.
AP

The US Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion. Canadian officials say Canada had about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019, about 15 million of them from the United States.

Tom Webb, a 63-year-old retired US Navy pilot from Orchard Park, New York, said he is seriously considering selling his Georgian Bay, Ontario cottage after being without access to it for nearly two years. He is vaccinated. “I am beyond frustrated,” he said.

Canadian officials have said they want 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully vaccinated before easing border restrictions on tourists and business travelers. The Canadian government expects to have delivered enough vaccine by the end of July to fully vaccinate 80% of eligible Canadians. The US did not allow vaccine exports to Canada until early May.

Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays hope to get an exemption to play home games in Toronto from July 30. Allowing unvaccinated players into the country remains a bottleneck, but protocols will be put in place. The Blue Jays played home games during the shortened 2020 season in Buffalo, New York and started this season in Dunedin, Florida, before moving to Buffalo.

The Canadian government did not allow the team to play at home in Toronto due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, citing frequent travel in the US during a baseball season.

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The post Canada to let vaccinated Americans into the country in August appeared first on Notesradar.

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