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Canadian News May 31, 2021 4:40 PM EST

Trudeau says Canada won't rush to reopen border with US

Canada won't rush to reopen its border with the United States to non-essential travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday, while new COVID-19 case counts continue to drop across the country.

Trudeau says Canada won't rush to reopen border with US
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Canada won't rush to reopen its border with the United States to non-essential travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday, while new COVID-19 case counts continue to drop across the country.

Trudeau stated that while many are eager to see the border reopen, any easing of restrictions needs to be done with the safety and well-being of Canadians in mind.

"We're on the right path, but we'll make our decisions based on the interests of Canadians and not based on what other countries want," Trudeau said of lessening travel restrictions via news conference in Ottawa.

Ontario and Quebec reported the lowest numbers of new COVID-19 infections in months. Quebec witnessed fewer than 300 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since mid-September, CP24 cited.

Several regions in Quebec were downgraded to orange from red on the province's pandemic-alert system, allowing high school students to return full-time to in-person classes. Ontario reported 916 new cases of COVID-19, which is the province's lowest daily total since February, reported CP24.

"We all want to reopen, we all want to go back to travelling to see friends, take vacations, go on trips," he said. "But we don't want to have to close again, tighten up again because there's another wave."

The White House said last week that the Biden had not decided when or how to reopen the border with Canada, but business groups and lawmakers including Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and Democrat New York Rep. Brian Higgins have urged both countries to devise the next steps towards the reopening plan.

A new report from an advisory panel is calling on the Trudeau government to end its policy of three-day quarantines at designated COVID-19 facilities for air travellers and instead replace it with self-quarantine plans. The fourth report was released by the federal COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel, which oversees the COVID-19 screening measures at land and air borders.

Trudeau suggested mid-May that 75 percent of Canadians must be vaccinated in order for the federal government to reopen the United States land border.

Coronavirus vaccine rollout has increased on both sides of the border. More than half of Canadians have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Canada has now administered more than 20 million doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines.  Canadians aged 12 and over are also now eligible to receive the first dose of the vaccine with Ontario opening vaccine appointments to all adults.

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