Communities say possible reopening of Canada-US border “overdue,” but experts are cautious – National – .

Vaccines “thrown” in US should go to Canadians, mayors say – National – –

Several leaders whose communities have strong ties across the Canada-U.S. Border say the potential increase in non-essential travel over the next few months is long overdue, although health experts are still showing signs of support. caution.

Non-essential travel from the United States could potentially begin by mid-August for fully vaccinated travelers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the country’s prime ministers Thursday evening. If COVID-19 vaccination rates in Canada remained high and reached certain thresholds, Trudeau said fully vaccinated travelers from other countries could start entering the country by September.

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While the announcement is not yet a confirmation of the border reopening, the deadline for restricted travel at the Canada-U.S. Border could be extended for the last and final time after it expires on July 21.

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Trudeau’s comments came amid expectations of whether the federal government would extend that July 21 deadline by an additional 30 days – or lift it altogether.

Store owners brace for border slow reopening

Store owners brace for border slow reopening

Kelley Lee, a global infectious disease governance expert and professor at Simon Fraser University, told Global News she was relieved the date could be extended by at least a month.

While her concern has been raised over whether communities near Canada’s borders could possibly see a sudden influx of travelers by next week – and with it new outbreaks of COVID-19 – Lee said she hoped that this deadline be further extended, at least until September.

“We are not trying to close the border; we are not trying to stop them from entering, ”she said.

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Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers could be allowed entry into Canada by August, Trudeau says

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“The problem is, we’re not quite at the full immunization level like the United States is, and then both countries need to get a higher immunization level. “

Lee also pointed to the renewed spread of COVID-19 in the United States, which has been primarily among its unvaccinated population, as well as the current lack of a standardized vaccination passport for the two countries.

Currently, about 55% of Canada’s eligible population, which excludes children under 12, has been fully immunized so far according to

Possible reopening of the border: good news for Edmonton International Airport, manufacturing sector

Possible reopening of border, good news for Edmonton International Airport, manufacturing sector

The United States, in contrast, administered one dose to 65% of its eligible population, while 56% received two injections. Public health experts have also pointed to the slowdown in the vaccination rate in the country – especially in pockets or communities that are reluctant to vaccinate.

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For some Canadians whose businesses or communities rely heavily on tourism or their neighbors across the border, the Prime Minister’s comments – as included in a reading of the Prime Minister’s appeal on Thursday – were very necessary.

Windsor, Ont. Mayor Drew Dilkens told Global News in an interview on Friday that the news was “a long time ago” and that the sooner they can open the border to fully vaccinated travelers, the better for both parties.

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“I think the fact that the borders continue to be closed certainly has a disproportionate effect on families who live in border communities like mine,” Dilkens said.

While news of a potential reopening of the border just around the corner was welcomed by Dilkens, he said what is needed now is a concrete timeline on when it will be reopened and what the rules would look like.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau updates plan to reopen border

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau updates plan to reopen border

Dilkens agreed that the next “logical step” would be to only allow border crossings for fully vaccinated travelers, although he said that over time as the number of vaccinations increases. was growing, more and more restrictions would have to be removed to allow businesses and families to thrive. reunite.

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“Living here in Windsor, which is home to the busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada, has a huge effect,” Dilkens said of the current non-essential border restrictions.

From a business perspective, he said the supply chains on both sides of the border are tightly integrated, but from a “human point of view,” the border closure has had a huge impact on people. families on both sides in the past 16 months.

Click to play the video: “Canada-US border reopening less certain”.

Reopening of the Canada-US border less certain.

Reopening of the Canada-US border less certain.

The mayor of Niagara, Ontario, another busy border crossing in Canada, told Global News on Friday that the whole process had been very frustrating due to a lack of communication on a plan to reopen.

“When companies have to hire employees, take an inventory – you have to know the plan and then people can be prepared, because it’s not as easy as flipping a switch,” Jim Diodati said at the Scott Thompson Show Friday.

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He said he and other border mayors were due to meet with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Monday and that such a plan was still under consideration, but Canadians would likely have more details from here. next week.

Lee, who has worked alongside an international team of researchers studying cross-border measures during the pandemic, said she would very much like to see the implementation of three specific restrictions to safely facilitate the reopening of the country’s borders.

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The first would be to require any exempt or essential traveler to be vaccinated and tested, the second would be to test all fully vaccinated travelers up to two times after arriving in Canada and finally implement a robust and rapid form of research. contacts of new breakthrough infections.

These “solutions,” which were included in an open letter to the federal government and signed by a handful of prominent public health professionals, would help mitigate new outbreaks – especially against variants – and bring back travel restrictions. to normal according to her.

“So it’s a matter of time and I think it’s up to Americans to get the vaccine,” Lee said.

“We would love to see Americans again.

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