Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting ready to ease Canada’s border restrictions, in place since March 2020, loosening restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers coming in and out of Canada via the United States.
In a report from Bloomberg, citing people “familiar with the discussions,” Trudeau is reportedly preparing to announce a plan in the coming days, though it’s not clear when exactly that plan would be implemented.
A quasi-reopening could come in time for the July 1 national holiday in Canada and the July 4 national holiday in the U.S. The current border closure is set to expire on June 21, but it could still behind renewed.
Canada is still far behind the U.S. in terms of vaccination progress and well behind the 75% vaccination rate that Trudeau has cited for reopening the border—according to the CBC Vaccine tracker, 60% of Canadians have received a first dose of vaccine and 8% are fully vaccinated, compared with the 42% in the U.S. who are fully vaccinated.
The news comes as more and more businesses, inside and outside of travel, pressure both governments to start moving towards more normal operations.
Just this week, Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, joined with the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), urging Justin Trudeau's administration to outline a roadmap for a safe restart of air travel between the countries.
The letter, sent Friday, said “safely reopening transborder air travel between Canada and the U.S. is essential for both nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic,” adding that air travel enabled $718 billion worth of trade between the countries in 2019.
The border has been closed since March 2020, with only trade and essential travel allowed. Over a year later, those traveling from the U.S. to Canada must still prove that they are crossing the border for essential reasons, and are required to test for COVID-19 in advance and quarantine upon arrival.