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Canada-U.S. border restrictions will be easing soon but only for some people

At long last, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that Canadians will soon be able to travel to and from the U.S. with fewer restrictions — but only a select group.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Trudeau made the revelation that the federal government is assessing how and when in the near future it will reopen the Canada-U.S. border more than 14 months after measures were first implemented.

While pleased with the vaccine rollout across the country, the PM called a single shot, though obviously great to have, an "incomplete protection" — which is why only those who have had two doses will be potentially eligible to embark on non-essential travel and skip the hotel quarantine and/or two-week isolation period currently in effect.

"I think we all understand that we want to get back to normal, we want to start travelling again, but ... easing of restrictions will be focused on Canadians who are fully vaccinated," Trudeau said as he encouraged all residents to get their first and second jabs as soon as they are eligible and able to do so.

But, he did not provide a date that people can expect any new guidelines will be introduced, nor did he say whether the current border closure will be extended past its June 21 expiry date.

Meanwhile, the fines were just increased from $3,000 to $5,000 for those air passengers who refuse the compulsory 3-day stay at a government-approved quarantine hotel as they await the results of the COVID-19 test they must take upon landing.

The controversial requirement is one that the federal COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel formally advised the government to get rid of last month, among other reecommendations, including that fully vaxxed travellers be able to bypass COVID-19 testing and quarantine.

Ontario is among those provinces who have been able to expedite its immunization program, vowing that all citizens will have both inoculations by the end of the summer.

Currently in the province, anyone 70 plus and/or who received their initial shot on or before April 18 can book their next one through the government's central booking portal.

Lead photo by

John McArthur

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