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Trudeau expected to unveil U.S. border plan with restrictions set to expire Monday

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jun 18th, 2021

The federal government is expected to unveil its United States border plan as early as Friday, or as late as Monday — which is the day the current order expires.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, still in quarantine at Rideau cottage following his trip overseas, has a news conference set for Friday morning.

The accelerated vaccine rollout in Canada is adding on the pressure to at least partially reopen the U.S. border after a fifteen-month shutdown.

Trudeau has said his plan to ease travel measures will take a phased-in approach and some cabinet ministers suggest the gradual plan won’t begin until early July.

There could also be some clarity provided on vaccine passports when the border plans are finally unveiled.

Premiers said they hoped to hear more details about the reopening plan in a call with the prime minister on Thursday night. Trudeau called the meeting with premiers amid concerns Canada is lagging behind other nations on resuming travel.

The government has already laid out its plans to lift restrictions for certain travellers arriving to Canada by air.

It says the first step will be to allow people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — and who are permitted to enter the country — to forego mandatory hotel quarantine.

Travellers will need to have been fully vaccinated 14 days or more before they arrive in Canada. The only vaccines that will be accepted will be those approved for use in Canada.

People will still be required to have a negative PCR test before boarding their flight to Canada and will still need to be tested upon arrival. People will be expected to quarantine until they get their negative test result back.

The federal government says it is confident airports in Canada will be prepared to start accepting an influx of travellers when the borders start to reopen for non-essential travel.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the government has been in contact with airlines and airports about the plan but says reopening may not happen as soon as the restrictions expire.

In a panel discussion on Thursday, Canadian tourism groups say tens of thousands of jobs are on the line and many businesses are relying on a tourism season this summer.

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