Posted on Monday, July 5, 2021 | 13:11
Updated on Monday July 5, 2021 | 13:11
TORONTO (AP) – Pandemic restrictions on travel between Canada and the United States began to ease on Monday for some Canadians, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said plans to fully reopen the border would be announced during the next few weeks.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have received a full dose of a coronavirus vaccine approved for use in Canada can skip a 14-day quarantine which has been a requirement since March 2020. Eligible air travelers also no longer have to spend their first three days in the country in a government approved hotel.
Restrictions prohibiting all non-essential travel between Canada and the United States, including tourism, will remain in place until at least July 21.
Trudeau said the easing of the rules marks a “big step” towards reopening the border.
“We very much hope that further stages of reopening will be announced in the coming weeks,” he said at a press conference in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. “We’re going to make sure we don’t see a resurgence of COVID-19 cases because no one wants to go back to new restrictions, having done so much and sacrificed so much to get there. ”
Julia Dunn, who landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport from the United States on her way to Halifax, said she was happy the restrictions were relaxed.
“It’s very liberating to be able to come home with your family without having to spend those two weeks alone,” she said.
Dunn, who is originally from Cape Breton but now lives in Houston, said she booked her trip to Canada after learning of the planned relaxation of quarantine rules a few weeks ago.
Trudeau said he understands how eager people are to see the border reopen, but noted the pandemic continues and “things are not normal yet.”
“No one wants us to go too fast and have to reimpose restrictions as the number of cases increases like we see elsewhere in the world,” he said. “We have to do it right. ”