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Canada-U.S. border closure extended for another month

By
Don Jacobson
Vehicles line up at the border between the United States and Canada in Derby, Vt., on March 18, 2020, shortly after the border was initially closed due to COVID-19. File Photo by Herb Swanson/EPA-EFE 
Vehicles line up at the border between the United States and Canada in Derby, Vt., on March 18, 2020, shortly after the border was initially closed due to COVID-19. File Photo by Herb Swanson/EPA-EFE 

June 18 (UPI) -- Canada will keep its border with the United States closed to non-essential travel for at least one more month, the federal government announced Friday in Ottawa.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a tweet the COVID-19 restrictions on cross-border travel will remain in effect until July 21.

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"Our number one priority as we fight [COVID-19] is keeping Canadians safe. In coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021," he wrote.

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Friday's announcement is a renewal of an agreement with the United States in which the border closure has been repeatedly extended on a month-by-month basis since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted calls to relax the border restrictions until at least 75% of Canadians have at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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As of last week, 64% of the Canadian population -- about 24.4 million people -- have received at least one shot, according to official government figures.

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Blair also indicated the government will have an update Monday on easing travel restrictions for those who are permitted to enter Canada.

The government requires travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. However, officials announced last week that starting in early July, fully-vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and certain others will be subjected to a much shorter quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19.

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