Canada to Extend U.S. Border Restrictions Until July 21 -- Update
By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA--Canada said Friday it would extend a ban on entry by
tourists into the country, including along the U.S.-Canada border,
until July 21, while indicating it is preparing to relax travel
restrictions for fully vaccinated citizens.
Further information on new guidelines for fully vaccinated
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and others allowed to enter
Canada will be provided Monday, said the country's public safety
minister, Bill Blair.
On his official Twitter account, Mr. Blair said the move to
extend the ban on entry via the U.S.-Canada land border was done in
coordination with Washington. U.S. officials didn't respond to
requests for comment.
The current 30-day ban prohibiting nonessential visitors from
crossing at the U.S.-Canada land border was set to expire Monday at
After a slow start, Canada has made significant progress on the
vaccination front. Two-thirds of Canadians now have at least one
dose of a Covid-19 vaccine--ahead of the U.K. and U.S.--and 15% are
fully vaccinated, according to University of Oxford's Our World in
Data. Case counts in Canada have sharply dropped since a peak in
mid-April from a third wave of infections.
At a press conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
said the extended ban on nonessential travel at the land border was
necessary, as Canada has yet to meet its target of 75% vaccinated
with one dose and 20% with a second dose.
"We are looking forward to getting back to normal as quickly as
possible, but we're not out of this pandemic yet," Mr. Trudeau
said, adding Canada will proceed with a phased-in approach toward
relaxing border restrictions.
Mr. Trudeau said the government would be easing some
restrictions pertaining to fully vaccinated Canadians. However, he
warned it is still possible for fully-vaccinated people to spread
the virus to the unvaccinated after returning from abroad.
"We have to really make sure that not only people who are fully
vaccinated can travel but that the community to which they will
return are not at risk," he said.
Senior U.S. lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck
Schumer (D., N.Y.), and members of Congress have been critical of
Canada's reluctance to reopen the border to visitors. Some members
of Mr. Trudeau's Liberal Party caucus are also signaling
Business Council of Canada, a lobby group representing the
country's blue-chip chief executives, said it was disappointed with
the Liberal government's decision. "Canadians need a clearly
articulated plan to reopen the border safely so that friends and
families can be reunited and businesses can welcome back
travellers," the council said in a statement.
Write to Paul Vieira at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 18, 2021 13:25 ET (17:25 GMT)
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