Trudeau resists business pressure to open U.S. border for summer
Jun 19 2021
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the move has been made in coordination with the U.S. There are growing calls in the U.S.to open the Canada-U.S. border for nonessential travel like tourism, but less than 20 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
Blair says the government is "planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians", and further details will be provided on Monday. The world's longest undefended border has been closed to most travel since March 2020, when it was shut in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said while he understands Canadians want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, he's not ready to restart the flow of non-essential traffic between the two countries just yet.
According to the New York Times World Vaccination Tracker, about 66 per cent of Canadians have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination and 15 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Can I ask someone if they got a COVID shot?
Health Canada maintains the AstraZeneca shot is safe and effective, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said Thursday that the mRNA products from Pfizer and Moderna are "preferred" and people should opt for one of those shots for their second dose. The restrictions have been extended month by month since.
"At the same time we also know we have to hit our targets of 75% vaccinated with the first dose and at least 20% vaccinated with the second dose before we can start loosening things up because even a fully vaccinated individual can pass on COVID-19 to someone who is not vaccinated".
She stressed however Canada is getting a fair deal for the lifesaving vaccines.
With new deliveries expected next month, Canada should have enough doses by the end of July to fully vaccinate every eligible Canadian.
US -bound air travellers, including those who are fully vaccinated, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months, before they board a flight.
"What is now being considered as the first step in this approach is to allow fully vaccinated individuals now permitted to enter Canada to do so without the requirement to stay in government-authorized accommodations", Hajdu said. Trudeau said the first phase is to allow fully vaccinated residents to upload proof of inoculation onto a mobile phone app that travelers are already required to use in order to enter the country.
"These are discussions that will end in the next coming weeks so that people can start travelling".