U.S. Canadian Border Remaining closed through July 21
As we head into the weekend, officials are saying that the border between the United States and Canada will remain closed for at least one more month. The border was closed to all non-essential traffic in March of 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair, announced on twitter that the restrictions on non-essential international travel will be extended "in coordination with the U.S." Blair also stated that the number one priority is keeping Canadians safe.
There had been hope for a July 1 opening with the increase in the percentage of people vaccinated on both sides of the border. Momentum was built earlier this week when New Brunswick hit two key benchmarks in vaccinations. New Brunswick entered into Phase 1 of the Path to Green reopening plan after 75% of the population 12 and older had received at least one dose of a vaccinations. One day after entering Phase 1, officials announced that the province was moving into Phase 2 of the reopening plan. The trigger to Phase 2 was having 20% of the population age 65 or older having received their final dose of a vaccine.
Bill Blair did state that there will be more details provided to the public on the border closure on Monday June 21st. In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills had extended the civil state of emergency through the end of June. The declaration was set to expire on June 13th, but the governor of the Pine Tree State wanted to allow for a smooth and orderly transition. Mills and her administration are looking for ways to incentivize Mainers to get a vaccine. Officials in Canada say they expect to have enough vaccines for 80% of the population to be vaccinated at some point in July.