Coronavirus: Canada border to open to fully vaccinated Americans by mid-August

Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated visitors from the U.S. into the country for non essential travel by mid-August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

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During a call with Canada’s provincial leaders, Trudeau said that if the country’s current vaccination rates continue and public health conditions continue to improve that the border can open.

“Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September,” the readout said. “He noted the ongoing discussions with the United States on reopening plans, and indicated that we could expect to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel.”

About 80% of Canadians have at least one vaccine dose, and 50% of the population is fully vaccinated. Canadian officials said they want 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully vaccinated before loosening border restrictions. Enough vaccine is expected to be made available so that 80% of the population will be fully vaccinated by the end of July.

The U.S. and Canadian governments closed the border to non essential traffic in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, while commercial traffic has gone back and forth normally.

Canadians are able to fly into the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.

The U.S. Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.