Shomporko Online News Desk: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canada’s premiers on Thursday that the Country might start permitting fully vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel by mid-August.
If COVID-19 vaccination rates continue on their current path, Trudeau noted, fully immunized travelers from all over the world might arrive in Canada as early as September.
The Prime Minister’s Office gave a summary of Thursday’s First Minister’s call, which included the remarks.
Federal ministers will have more to say regarding reopening plans early next week, Trudeau told the premiers.
Restrictions on non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border are set to expire on July 21. Under the plan revealed by Trudeau, the deadline may be extended one last time by 30 days before fully vaccinated travelers are allowed again.
The travel restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis for more than a year. Canada gradually began easing quarantine requirements July 5, but only for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents, and other eligible travelers — though it does not apply to recreational travelers.
Trudeau noted to the premiers that nearly 80 per cent of Canadians who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines have received at least one dose, while over 50 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses — a rate that bodes well for further reopening plans.
Canada’s COVID-19 cases have dropped off significantly since the spring as a result, with less than 500 new infections being reported per day on average. Deaths and hospitalizations are also down.
But cases have started to climb in the U.S., thanks to the highly transmissible Delta variant and a significant amount of vaccine resistance among some Americans.
Overall, just over 65 percent of Americans aged 12 and up have received at least one vaccine dose, while 56.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, previously told Global News that the uptick in cases down south could have an impact on border restrictions.
The problem with the U.S., he said, is that every state is different when it comes to fighting COVID-19. For example, Mississippi has the lowest vaccination rate with 33.6 percent of eligible people fully vaccinated, while Vermont has the highest inoculation rate with 67.4 percent of eligible people fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It makes Canadian travel difficult with some states,” Deonandan said. “It is advisable for Canadians going to American states that have grown in the Delta variant in particular, to self-quarantine when they come back, seek out a negative test or to not go in the first place.”
Earlier this week, Trudeau recognized that before Canada’s borders with the United States can reopen safely, it will need to reach a particular level of domestic immunization.
According to a recent poll released on Thursday by the Angus Reid Institute, a large majority of Canadians (69%) want at least a 75% immunization rate before the border is reopened. Nearly 40% of those polled believe the barrier should be raised even higher.
Source_ The Canadian Press