Source: Canada-U.S. border announcement not expected this week

By Michael Ranger

A source tells 680 NEWS that an announcement on border restrictions between Canada and the United States will not be coming this week.

There was some speculation that more details on a gradual easing of restrictions could be unveiled on Friday.

The federal government said earlier this week they were taking steps towards reopening the border for non-essential travellers and a Toronto Star report suggested that an announcement could be made as early as Friday.

The reopening is expected to be a long, gradual process and first steps would likely allow for smoother cross-border travel for people who are fully immunized.

The renewal date for the current border restrictions between the two countries is 10 days away, set to expire on June 21.

The initial easing of restrictions would likely not trigger a flood of tourists heading south for the summer given that less than 10 per cent of Canadians are currently fully vaccinated. That is compared to approximately 42 per cent of U.S. residents.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed this week that Canada will begin taking steps to ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers – though he did not provide a timeframe.

“We are looking at how we can ease the rules, based on science,” said Trudeau. “We will have more announcements to make regarding measures that may be eased for those who have had both doses in the weeks to come.”


The U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory for Canada this week from ‘do not travel’ to ‘reconsider your travel.’

“We would make a decision about the Canada border based on the guidance of our health and medical experts,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “I’m sure that when that decision is made, we would communicate through diplomatic channels, but I don’t have anything to predict about the timeline.”

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada warned Tuesday that some of its members may be forced out of business if the restrictions wipe out another summer travel season.

“President Biden formally asked for a border reopening plan immediately after taking office, and so far, Canada has been slow to make any public progress,” said president and CEO Beth Potter in a statement.

The U.S. President is also facing pressure from border states to ease border restrictions as soon as possible to provide relief to the U.S. travel industry.

Many questions still remain, including implementing a standardized proof-of-vaccination that would be accepted on both sides of the border.

Trudeau has been in talks with allies about the creation of an International vaccine passport, a topic that could be raised during the G7 meeting happening now in the U.K.

The federal government announced Wednesday that fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers will no longer need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arriving home.

It will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The land border has been closed to most residents for almost 15 months, current exceptions are being made for essential trips and for allowing Canadians to repatriate from abroad.

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