Canadian border closure extended again, until late July

The Peace Arch border

The Peace Arch border

Canada is extending its border restrictions on non-essential worldwide travel for another month.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair made the announcement on Twitter on Friday morning.

Ottawa will reveal on June 21 how it plans to start lifting the measures for fully vaccinated Canadians and others who are now permitted to enter Canada, he added.

The border has been closed to non-essential travel since last March.

There have been growing calls from both side of the border to speed up the reopening, in particular to those who have completed a full vaccination cycle.

"We have to hit our targets of 75 per cent vaccinated with a first dose and at least 20 per cent vaccinated with a second dose before we can start loosening things up", Trudeau said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters this morning he is working with the United States and worldwide partners to ensure that AstraZeneca vaccine recipients face few barriers when they travel overseas.

The province has sent mixed messages in recent days about whether people who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should get a second dose of the same vaccine or opt for one of the others.

"We are looking forward to getting back to normal as quickly as possible, but we're not through this pandemic yet", Trudeau said, quarantining at Rideau Cottage after returning home from the G-7 Summit.

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Now that vaccines are being administered widely in both the US and Canada, business groups are asking for a clear plan on how the border will reopen.

The extended restrictions will include travel between Canada and the United States.

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"Having to demonstrate that you have been vaccinated has been a standard piece of global travel since worldwide aviation began", said Mike McNaney, president of the National Airlines Council of Canada, in an interview.

"We are working on two tracks in terms of proof of vaccinations for Canadians who wish to travel", Trudeau said at a midday video conference from his Ottawa residence.

With new deliveries expected next month, Canada should have enough doses by the end of July to fully vaccinate every eligible Canadian.

On Friday, Legault insisted what's most important is that people who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca get a booster shot - no matter which vaccine they choose.

Premiers said they hoped to hear more details about the reopening plan in a call with the prime minister on Thursday night. 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. "That's something we will have in place in the coming weeks".

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