canada border

Justin Trudeau confirms that the Canada-U.S. border is finally opening up again

It's been a whopping 16 months since the initial closure of the Canada-U.S.border due to COVID-19, but it looks as if Americans will finally be permitted entry to the Great White North for non-essential reasons again before summer's end — at least, some of them.

The decision comes following a conference call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian premiers on Thursday, after which a statement was issued about the subject matter of the meeting.

Nestled at the end is the topic of the border, with the feds saying that "if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September."

As for our neighbours to the south in particular, they will enjoy loosened restrictions at land and air crossings a little earlier than the rest of the world — but only if they're fully vaccinated against the virus.

It's something residents and politicians have increasingly been calling for now that the reopening of various provinces is in full swing, albeit lagging behind much of the rest of the world, but a point that Trudeau has seemed cautious to make a concrete decision on as of late.

"[Trudeau] noted ongoing discussions with the United States on reopening plans, and indicated that we could expect to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel," the readout details, adding that the PM has received the support of provincial and territorial leaders on the matter.

After leading the global charge for vaccination, the U.S.'s vaccination rates currently sit around 67.9 per cent of adults with at least one dose of an approved COVID vaccine, and 59.2 per cent with both, meaning that the majority of the population will be eligible to return to Canada for leisure if they so wish.

In Canada, meanwhile, 77.7 per cent of residents 12 and over have had at least a single jab, while 41 per cent of the same age group is fully inoculated.

Those who are double dosed can also as of earlier this month travel internationally for non-essential purposes without having to face the costly and controversial hotel quarantine imposed in February — or any mandatory quarantine period at all — upon their return.

Ottawa was criticized for imposing such stringent measures at the border so late in the game after having such leaky restrictions that still saw Canadians embarking on non-essential travel to party in hot spots consequence-free for the majority of the health crisis.

Politicians like Ontario Premier Doug Ford had advocated that Canada shutter its borders to all non-residents, which countries like Australia and New Zealand had seen success with.

Further details on exact dates and protocols of the border reopening, including what will qualify as an acceptable "proof of vaccination credential" or vaccine passport, are expected next week.

Lead photo by

Eric Salard

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