US-Canada border restrictions extended until July 21
TORONTO (AP) — Border restrictions on nonessential travel with the United States will be extended until July 21, officials said Friday, as Canada works to get a higher percentage of Canadians fully vaccinated.
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% of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
“We’re still seeing cases across the country and we want to get them down," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "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."
Trudeau said they need to ensure communities to which fully vaccinated travelers return to are not at risk
“Even though they are protected from hospitalization the people around them might not be,” Trudeau said.
The ban on nonessential travel across the Canada-U.S. border was announced in March 2020 and has been extended every month since.
Even some provinces in Canada remain closed to each other. Ontario and Quebec only this week allowed nonessential travel between the two provinces. And Atlantic Canada will be closed to Canadians from elsewhere well into July.
The government expects to have enough vaccine delivered for 80% of eligible Canadians to be fully vaccinated by the end of July.
About 70% of eligible Canadians have had at least one dose of vaccine and second doses are ramping up this month and next. Canada delayed administering a second dose to get more people a level of protection with the first dose faster and as...