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American News Jul 20, 2021 12:49 PM EST

No plans from White House to reciprocate Canadian border reopening

As Canada moves ahead to open its borders to travelers from the United States, the White House has indicated that it may not be reciprocating that action.

No plans from White House to reciprocate Canadian border reopening
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

As Canada moves ahead to open its borders to travelers from the United States, the White House has indicated that it may not be reciprocating that action.

The Canadian border will open to fully vaccinated US travelers on August 9, with the rest of the world gaining access of September 7, the Trudeau government announced Monday.

The US restrictions on the border are set to renew on Wednesday. "When Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he briefed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the steps Canada intended to take, he got no indication that the US would be following suit," reported the National Post.

"He indicated to me at this time they have not yet made a decision; they anticipate their measures would likely be (extended) on July 21," Blair said in a news conference.

"They are obviously considering additional measures and data, but at the present time they have not indicated any plan to make any changes in the current border restrictions that are in place," he continued.

New York State Representative Brian Higgins slammed the US' "lack of urgency" to make progress on lifting restrictions at the Canadian border.

"It is extremely frustrating that the US government has failed to reciprocate current family exemptions already allowed by the Canadian government and failed to show a lack of urgency to make any progress on this side of the border toward lifting restrictions," Higgins said.

"The US has neglected to give reopening the northern border the serious attention it deserves, and there is no excuse. Failure to co-ordinate this announcement in a binational way will only lead to confusion among travelers," he continued.

Non-essential travel from Canada to the US is currently not allowed under restrictions put in place in March 2020. Those restrictions are set to expire on July 21, but according to the National Post who cited the US Customs website, these restrictions may be extended.

Reluctance on the American side to open the border may be a result of climbing Delta variant cases in the us, lower than expected vaccination rates, as well as the ongoing crisis at the souther borders according to the National Post.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing shortly after Canada's announcement that US action would not be a reciprocal act, rather one based on their own medical guidance.

"I wouldn't look at it through a reciprocal intention," Psaki said. "We are continuing to review our travel restrictions; any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously, but we look and are guided by our own medical experts."

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