US, Canada extend border restrictions until July 21

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Border restrictions on nonessential travel with the United States will be extended until July 21, officials said Wednesday, as Canada works to get a higher percentage of Canadians fully vaccinated.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the move has been made in coordination with the U.S. There are growing calls in the U.S. to open the Canada-U.S. border for nonessential travel like tourism, but less than 20% of Canadians are fully vaccinated.

“We’re still seeing cases across the country and we want to get them down,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “At the same time we also know we have to hit our targets of 75% vaccinated with the first dose and at least 20% vaccinated with the second dose before we can start loosening things up because even a fully vaccinated individual can pass on COVID-19 to someone who is not vaccinated.”

Trudeau said they need to ensure communities to which fully vaccinated travelers return to are not at risk

“Even though they are protected from hospitalization the people around them might not be,” Trudeau said.

The border between Canada and the U.S. remains closed to all nonessential travel. The restrictions were announced in March, 2020 in the early months of the pandemic and have been extended every month since.

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