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Politics & Government

Canadian border to be closed for nonessential travel for another month

An image of the highway sign for the bridge to Canada in Detroit
Ken Lund
/
Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Despite hopes otherwise, the international border with Canada will remain closed for nonessential travel for another month, until July 21.

Canadian Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair announced via Twitter Friday morning that this decision was in coordination with the United States, and that the government would provide more details about fully vaccinated Canadians travelling.

One member of the Michigan delegation in Congress, Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), criticized the lack of transparency around talk of reopening the border.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, so far, about 73% of the population aged 12 and up has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 15% of the 12 and up population is fully vaccinated, however.

Rakesh Naidu is the president and CEO of the Windsor-Essex regional chamber of commerce. He says businesses in the Detroit-Windsor area have been feeling the strain of travel restrictions for the past year and five months.

"Many businesses are not able to send their key people to go and conduct business meetings, participate in project evaluation meetings, bid on new business, service the products once it is sold, and comply with or fulfill their contractual obligations. So all of this is hampering business on both sides. All of this is creating more challenges."

He says they're hoping for good news about easing travel restrictions come Monday.

"Well I think what we're hoping to hear is the timeline for the easing of the restrictions and who will be allowed to cross the border, what will have to fulfill, what kind of information they will have to share. I think some clarity around that will be something that we're looking forward to," Naidu says.

He says that he's hoping the distribution rate of second doses of the vaccine will speed up in Canada. Naidu also thinks that resuming international travel will also depend heavily on Americans getting vaccinated as well.

"I think that will be critical, so that, you know, we have a common system or some kind of mechanism put in place so that it becomes easier to for people to show their vaccination status and cross the border if they're allowed to do so."

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