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Canada will not welcome unvaccinated tourists for some time – PM Trudeau

Officials from the Canadian Border Service face two closed Canadian border checkpoints after it was announced that the border would be close to “non-significant traffic” to combat the spread of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the US border crossing and Canada at Thousand Islands Bridge in Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada March 19, 2020. REUTERS / Alex Filipe

OTTAWA, July 8 (Reuters) ̵

1; Foreign tourists not vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada for any length of time because the government is unwilling to bring the progress made to contain the virus, at risk, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

“I can tell you right now that it will not happen for a while,” Trudeau said when asked by reporters when Canada would allow unvaccinated tourists to enter the country.

From this week, Canada has waived the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated citizens. But non-essential foreign travelers still do not get access despite pressure from the country’s harmful tourism sector.

The United States does not have vaccine requirements for visitors. At this point, talks on lifting border restrictions are focused on fully vaccinated travelers, Trudeau said.

“The next step is to look at what measures we can allow for international travelers who are fully vaccinated,” he said. “We will have more to say in the coming weeks.”

Trudeau has previously said that authorities are looking closely at domestic vaccination rates, the spread of variants of concern, and how the rest of the world handles COVID-19.

About 78% of people aged 12 or older in Canada have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said Thursday. About 44% of the population aged 12 or over are fully vaccinated.

The governments of Canada and the United States have been under pressure to reopen the world’s largest land border, which has been closed for non-essential travel since March 2020. The current restrictions apply at least until July 21. Read more

A White House official told Reuters on Wednesday that a reopening of U.S. borders for many global tourists will still need more discussion. Read more

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; further reporting by Steve Scherer Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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