TORONTO (AP - MODIFIED) — Canada’s public safety minister says border restrictions on nonessential travel with the United States will be extended until July 21.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted the move has been made in coordination with the U.S. He says Canada’s number one priority is to keep Canadians safe during the pandemic. Blair also notes the government plans to release details on Monday about fully vaccinated Canadians who return to the country.
As we have said, the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, Permanent Residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter Canada and will provide further details on Monday, June 21.— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) June 18, 2021
The Canadian government has said it anticipates fully vaccinated Canadian citizens who test negative for COVID-19 will be exempt from two weeks quarantine when returning to the country sometime in early July.
The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a previous interview with 7 Eyewitness News, Jim Diodati, mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, said in a recent meeting of border mayors with Blair, Blair suggested that if 75% of people received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 20% were fully vaccinated, border restrictions could be eased beginning June 22. Further details have not been released.
"I need to look at my elected officials and say, why didn't you stand up for us? Who is the leader? Who is going to make that decision? Who is going to pull the trigger and open up the land border. There's a lot of talk and nothing is getting done," said Marcella Picone. Her fiance live over the border in Canada. She belongs to the group Families are Essential.
Congressmembers Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2) serve as co-chairs of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and released a joint statement Friday:
Congressman Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27) released the following statement on the matter Friday:
This indefinite closure is a complete failure of leadership by the President and Prime Minister on this issue. This decision completely ignores both leaders’ calls to follow the science. The fact of the matter is vaccines are rolling out rapidly, and positivity rates are dropping significantly. There could be a plan implemented on June 22nd that would allow families to reunite, homeowners to visit their property, and our nations’ tourism industries to survive this season without jeopardizing our safe and steady recovery from COVID-19.
It is far past time for action. Since a binational resolution seems to be out of reach, the United States should unilaterally reopen our side of the US – Canada border.