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.
The Mayor of Niagara Falls says at a recent meeting of border mayors the public safety minister said the Feds have suggested they could start easing covid-19 restrictions at the U.S. border on June 22 if the country's vaccination campaign stays on its current trajectory.@680NEWS
— Fil Martino (@fil_martino) June 8, 2021
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.
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