Could Canada-U.S. border restrictions ease this month?

Clay Curtis
June 9, 2021

The prime minister said he expects "high interest" from travellers to visit Canada as restrictions begin to ease across the country. -Canada border on June 22, according to Jim Diodati, mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

An extension of the measures for another month would be a huge blow for the tourism sector, restricting movement for the July 1 national holiday in Canada and the July 4 weekend in the U.S. In May the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the closure was extended through June 21, 2021.

Chambers of commerce on both sides of the border, along with other groups, want travelers who've been fully inoculated against COVID-19 to be able to cross the border without having to show a negative test or undergo a quarantine, a letter released Tuesday said. About 60% of Canada's population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. "Easing of restrictions will be focused on Canadians who are fully vaccinated".

"Even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians, to remove numerous pressures from our public health systems, it is still an incomplete protection and we need people to get the full two doses of their vaccines", he said.

The government is crafting plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for border-crossers who've had two vaccine doses, said the people, speaking on condition they not be identified.

According to Diodati, Niagara Falls, Ontario sees 14 million people a year in tourism and about 25% come from the US and represent 50% of the revenue and 40,000 jobs are dependent on tourism.

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She added, however, "we can not guarantee and we may not be able to do this in every instance". Justice Department officials could not say how many other ransoms they have recovered.

US and Canadian government officials began discussions to loosen restrictions on the world's longest undefended border earlier this year. "I think it would be an incentive to get vaccinated", Germain said.

Stakeholders and government officials say there's a sense of urgency now, given that it may be the last opportunity to open up the border in time for the summer season. In conversations with government leaders on both sides of the border we are learning plans are moving forward to provide for expanded crossing allowances. "Action is long overdue".

The Prime Minister has been in talks with allies about the creation of an global vaccine passport, a topic that could be raised during the G7 meeting happening later this week.

If we can do it for some, we can surely find a way to do it for all.

Much of that pressure has emanated from northern border states and community and business leaders located near the frontier, where small businesses and family livelihoods are utterly dependent on a regular flow of traffic between the two countries.

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