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Canada-US border restrictions extended to 21 July

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and others will provide further details on 21 June

IANS | Ottawa |

The government in Ottawa announced that the Canada-US border agreement on travel restrictions will be extended for another month to 21 July.

“In coordination with the US, we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the US until July 21st, 2021,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted on Friday.

Blair also said the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter the country and will provide further details on 21 June.

The new extension comes a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial premiers met to discuss the possibility of opening the land border between the two countries, which has been closed for non-essential travel since March 2020.

The restrictions, which do not cover trade or travel by air, has been extended several times.

The current restrictions were to expire on 21 June.

Trudeau had said on 13 June that he had spoken with US President Joe Biden regarding lifting restrictions, but added that no breakthrough has been achieved.

The Trudeau government closed its borders to non-essential travellers in March 2020.

Since then, it has adjusted the rules to require Covid-19 testing before and after arrival, as well as a period of mandatory quarantine.

Canada also limited international flights to just four airports in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.

In the fall of 2020, Canada expanded the list of travellers who were exempt from travel restrictions.

International students going to a Designated Learning Institution with a Covid-19 readiness plan were allowed to come to Canada to study.

The exemptions also included extended family members, as well as travellers coming to Canada for compassionate reasons such as a funeral.

In February 2021, Canada also added the mandatory hotel quarantine on incoming international travellers.

New airport arrivals were to go immediately to wait for the results of a Covid-19 test at a government-approved hotel at their own expense.