TORONTO – Canada announced Monday that it will begin bringing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on August 9 and those from the rest of the world on September 7.
Officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be lifted effective August 9 for eligible travelers who currently reside in the United States and have received a full cycle of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. .
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said he spoke with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday, said the United States had not yet indicated any plans to change current restrictions at the land border. Canadians can travel to the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.
When asked in Washington if the United States would reciprocate, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are continuing to review our travel restrictions. Any decision to resume travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. … I will not do it. look at it through reciprocal intention. “
Canadian officials have also announced that children who are not vaccinated but are traveling with vaccinated parents will not have to be quarantined, but will have to avoid group activities.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra also said the ban on direct flights from India will be extended until August 21 due to the delta variant. “The situation in India is still very serious,” he said.
Trudeau said last week that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter the country from mid-August for non-essential travel and should be able to accommodate fully vaccinated travelers from all countries. by early September.
Canada leads the G-20 countries in terms of immunization rates, with about 80% of eligible Canadians vaccinated with their first dose and over 50% of eligible people fully immunized.
At the start of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed the more than 5,500 mile (8,800 kilometer) border to non-essential traffic. With vaccination rates rising and infection rates falling, some were upset that the two governments had not made plans to fully reopen the border.
Canada began easing restrictions earlier this month, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or legal permanent residents to return to Canada without quarantine. But among the requirements is a negative test for the virus before they return, and another once they return.
Pressure is mounting on Canada to continue to ease border restrictions, which have been in effect since March 2020. Offering exemptions for travel to Canada amid the pandemic is politically sensitive and Trudeau is expected to call an election federal governments next month.
Canadian officials have said they would like 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully immunized before easing border restrictions for tourists and business travelers. The Canadian government expects enough vaccines to be delivered for 80% of eligible Canadians to be fully immunized by the end of July. The United States did not allow vaccine exports to Canada until early May.
Commercial traffic has been returning normally between the two countries since the start of the pandemic.
The US Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $ 1.5 billion. Canadian officials say Canada welcomed about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019, including about 15 million from the United States.