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Biden diverges with Canada and extends border restrictions at least until August 21

The Biden administration made the announcement on the same day that a monthly bilateral agreement keeping Covid-19 restrictions in place was to expire. The document outlining the renewal also states that the measures will be applied until August 21, but notes that they could be amended or repealed before that date.

“This document announces the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security (the Secretary) to continue to temporarily restrict the movement of people from Canada to the United States at land entry points along the United States-Canada border,” said the opinion issued by the office of Secretary of Internal Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “These trips will be limited to ‘essential trips’, as defined in more detail in this document. “

Canada, where the rising vaccination rate has exceeded that of the United States in recent days, is taking a different approach.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government announced Monday that it will ease border restrictions on August 9 for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to travel to Canada on discretionary travel.

Pressure build-up: Business leaders, families and lawmakers from districts along the northern U.S. border have been pushing Trudeau and President Joe Biden for months to reopen shared overland crossings to non-essential travel.

Following Canada’s announcement this week, attention and pressure was directed to Biden to produce a plan to reopen.

“The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publicly declares that fully vaccinated Americans are free to safely resume all their pre-pandemic activities,” said Representative Brian Higgins (DN.Y.), co-chair of Congressional Northern Border Caucus, in the House of Representatives Tuesday. “It is time for the United States to align its border policy with science, facts and data. The action is long overdue. Open the US border to our Canadian neighbors.

He added that the Americans were promised on January 21 that a plan to reopen would be delivered within 14 days.

“180 days have now passed,” Higgins said. “We are still waiting for this plan.

Higgins, who has been one of the most vocal U.S. lawmakers calling for the easing of border restrictions, applauded Canada’s announcement.

In response to the US extension on Wednesday, Higgins called the move “illogical” in a statement.

“For months, people and businesses along the border have chained each other month after month in hopes of a reopening of the border,” he said. “Today’s decision by the Biden administration is hurting economic recovery and harming families across America’s northern border; it is completely unnecessary. While the United States does nothing, loved ones remain separate and communities whose economies rely on cross-border trade continue to suffer economically. “

From the Prime Minister: Following Canada’s announcement, Trudeau said each country will make its own call on how and when to remove Covid measures at the border.

“They will follow their science, they will make their own decisions,” he said Tuesday at a press conference, when asked about the American plan. “We will work with them to make sure we coordinate as best as possible, but Canada will no more dictate what the United States should do around its border policy than we would allow the United States to dictate to us around. border policy.

Trudeau reminded reporters that vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians have been allowed to travel to the United States for discretionary travel throughout the pandemic. Canada, he noted, has banned entry to non-essential travelers by land and air.

“Americans have always had an asymmetrical arrangement with us,” Trudeau said.

Learn more about the Ottawa plan: Beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on August 9, fully immunized U.S. citizens and permanent residents residing in the United States will be permitted to enter Canada for non-essential travel.

Canada will continue to deny entry to those who have not yet been fully vaccinated, unless they are already exempt under the Quarantine Act.

Officials said Canada will also renew the monthly deal with the United States, but added that it will be amended in time for the August 9 changes.

Canada has also announced plans to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from other countries starting September 7.

Go through the door: To enter Canada, travelers must have received their full set of vaccines – approved by Health Canada – at least 14 days before arriving at the border.

The approved vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Canadian officials say they are actively considering whether to eventually accept people who have received doses of other vaccines.

Those arriving in Canada must provide proof of their vaccination in English, French or a certified translation in addition to the original. Travelers will also need to upload Covid-related information, including proof of vaccination, through the ArriveCan app or web portal prior to their departure for Canada.

Fully vaccinated visitors must also be asymptomatic on arrival and meet pre-entry screening requirements, including a new border program that randomly selects people to take a Covid test on the day of arrival.

If travelers do not meet all the conditions, they are required to have an appropriate quarantine plan ready to be presented at the border.

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