Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has begun preliminary internal discussions with his government about reopening the US border, even as Canada lags well behind its neighbor to the south in vaccinations.
Formal talks about how to proceed with the reopening have already begun, and include whether to employ a two-track system where quarantine and testing requirements would be relaxed for vaccinated travelers.
Non-essential international travel into Canada has been banned since March, with exceptions for trade. Trudeau said Canadian citizens can still travel outside the country but wants them to be aware of the risks involved and how it may affect their access to health care when they travel abroad, according to WTSP News.
“If someone chooses to travel, we’re not going to keep them imprisoned in Canada. There is a freedom of movement in this country,” Trudeau said. “People have to recognize that they’re putting themselves at risk, they’re putting their loved ones at risk and they may not have the kinds of supports or health insurance or repatriation flights that we did early on if they choose to leave the country.”
The world’s longest international border would remain closed until America got a handle on COVID-19, Trudeau previously said in a radio interview.
“The U.S. is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” Trudeau told the hosts of “Smart Start,” which airs on Canada’s Global Television Network. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place.”