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

Last Updated Jun 8, 2021 at 2:01 pm PDT

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, U.S. and Canadian flags fly atop the Peace Arch at Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Summary

Mayor of Niagara Falls says he's heard suggestions the Canada-U.S. land border could reopen June 22

Most non-essential travel across the land border has been restricted since March 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not confirmed a date for the land border to reopen

NIAGARA FALLS (NEWS 1130) – There is growing chatter about Canada’s land border with the U.S. reopening in the coming weeks. Citing the public safety minister, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont., says in a recent meeting with the mayors of other border cities, there were suggestions that the federal government could ease restrictions on June 22.

Most non-essential travel across the land border has been restricted since March 2020, when measures were first brought in to slow the spread of COVID-19. The border restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis ever since.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged how eager Canadians are to travel once again. He would not confirm reports of a June reopening.

“We have no announcements to make today. June 21, the 21st of every month, is the day on which the measures we’ve had for many, many months between Canada and the United States does gets rolled over or not,” he said.

Trudeau said the government was looking at ways to ease restrictions “based on science,” adding two-dose vaccinations are key.

“But it’s very clear that even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians to remove many of the pressures from our public health systems, it’s still an incomplete protection and we need people to get the full two doses of their vaccines. That’s why easing of restrictions will be focused on Canadians who are fully vaccinated,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has launched a campaign to get decision makers to “acknowledge the urgent need and to commit to a date to open the border,” as the summer approaches.

Beth Potter, president and CEO of TIAC, argues the closure of the land border “was a blunt interment to help stop the pandemic, but the fact that people can fly to the U.S. to vacation without quarantining there, but a very limited number of essential workers can cross the border never made sense.”

While there have been discussions about potentially easing travel restrictions, the federal government has not said when they will be lifted.

According to the Tourism Industry Association of BC, the U.S. makes up the largest international market for tourism in that province.

With files from Hana Mae Nassar and Martin MacMahon