It has been over a year since the U.S.-Canada border has been closed, and it looks like it will be quite a few months before nonessential travel can resume between the two nations. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Thursday, that there will be another one-month extension of the border closure between the US and Canada. This makes 15 months since the border closure was enforced.
The closure forbids nonessential travel from the US to Canada. However, The United States is allowing entry of Canadians, provided that they are not travelling from a country or region under the current US travel bans, which includes places like India and Brazil.
“To protect your health and limit the spread of COVID-19, we’re extending the measures currently in place by another 30 days. Non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted until June 21st,” announced Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau stated that he wanted to ease travel restrictions once the country gets to 75% of its population vaccinated. It will be a while before 75% are inoculated. Data from Canada shows that 45.1% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, but only around 4% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, about 49% of the U.S. population has received at least one jab while 39% are fully vaccinated, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of the population over the age of 12, the minimum age to receive a vaccine in the US, 57.9% have received at least one dose, while 46% are fully vaccinated.
Canada has imposed rigorous travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The country has limited flights to top vacation destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.
Moreover, citizens returning to Canada must abide by strict entry restrictions. All arrivals into Canada are required to show proof of a negative test result taken within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of the direct flight to Canada. Travellers must also take an additional test and quarantine in an approved hotel for up to three days at their own expense. Passengers can then quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14-day mandated period. As of now, there are no exemptions for vaccinated arrivals.
The country has also banned direct flights from high-risk countries, such as India and Pakistan. The ban has been extended until at least June 21 in a bid to combat the spread of the new variants of COVID-19 prevalent in these countries.