Canada Says It's Near Plan on Easing Border Restrictions
By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA--Canadian officials said Tuesday the government might
release in the coming days a plan for a phased-in relaxing of
border restrictions, which 15 months ago has largely prohibited
tourists from entering the country.
Dominic LeBlanc, Canada's minister in charge of
federal-provincial affairs, said officials might be ready to unveil
details on or before June 21, or the day when the current 30-day
ban on nonessential travel crossing the land border expires.
"We will have more to say as our posture evolves," Mr. LeBlanc
said. "We'll obviously have something to say [around June 21] about
these measures being rolled over and look ahead to possible
adjustments over time."
Mr. LeBlanc's comments were a slight shift in tone in recent
weeks, when Canadian officials provided no timeline on when border
restrictions might be relaxed, and instead said it wanted to take a
slow, cautious approach.
Canada last week took a first step when it said, beginning in
early July, that fully vaccinated Canadians returning to the
country would no longer be subject to some of the strict quarantine
rules in place. However, Canadian business groups and some senior
U.S. lawmakers, such as Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, have
criticized the Liberal government for dragging its heels as it
pertains to nonessential travel across the U.S.-Canada land
President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke
on the sidelines of the Group of Seven leaders' summit in the U.K.
regarding the U.S.-Canada border reopening.
After a slow start, Canada's vaccination program has caught up
and exceeded countries like the U.S. and U.K. in administering at
least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to its citizens. According to
the University of Oxford's Our World in Data, at least 65% of
Canadians have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 13% are
Canadian officials have previously said they would like to get
to 75% of the population with one vaccine dose and 20% fully
vaccinated before considering relaxing border measures. "Things
appear to be moving in the right direction," said Canada's chief
public-health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam. Canada's seven-day average
of new, confirmed Covid-19 cases has declined sharply since
reaching a peak in mid-April during a third wave of infections.
Write to Paul Vieira at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 15, 2021 13:23 ET (17:23 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.