The border dividing the United States and Canada could open to fully vaccinated Americans as early as August. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with premiers on Thursday and all signs pointed toward a reopening barring any major unforeseen setbacks. A readout of the conversation between Trudeau and other government officials indicated that all parties “expressed their support of reopening plans, and agreed on the importance of ensuring clarity and predictability as initial steps are taken.”
“Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated [travelers] from all countries by early September,” the statement added.
Nearly 80% of eligible Canadian citizens have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 53% of the vaccine eligible population has received at both doses.
In recent weeks, lawmakers in the U.S. have pushed back against Trudeau’s decision to keep the borders closed. Earlier this month, Rep. Brian Higgins and New York State Assemblyman Jonathan Rivera issued a joint statement regarding the matter.
“We respectfully request that Canadian officials use the powers defined by their offices to end the border closure for good on July 21 and return our two great nations to a place of storied camaraderie,” the statement read.
The decision to reopen travel to the U.S. comes at an interesting point during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last two weeks, more than three dozen states have experienced an uptick in positive COVID-19 tests. With that said, government officials have argued that many of those who have contracted the virus are not fully vaccinated.
“We are not out of the woods yet. Millions of Americans are still not protected against COVID-19, and we are seeing more infections among those who are unvaccinated,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said during a recent White House press briefing.