Canada-U.S. border closure likely to be extended into July

It looks increasingly likely that the U.S.-Canada border closure will be extended until at least July 21 and if only fully-vaccinated travellers are allowed to enter once it does reopen, will the United States let in Canadians vaccinated with AstraZeneca, a vaccine that isn’t approved for use in that country?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signalled that he’d like to see 75 per cent of Canadians be fully vaccinated before the border restrictions are lift and right now, that number sits at a little less than 15 per cent. 

And while there is a lot of pressure from the travel industry and politicians in border communities to re-open the frontier, a poll released by Angus Reid three weeks ago showed that nearly half of Canadians want it to remain closed until the fall (27%) or until the end of the year ( 21%).

Trudeau is set to discuss the issue with provincial and territorial leaders on Thursday.

The federal government has said it is ready to relax entry requirements for Canadian citizens in July who are fully vaccinated with vaccines that are recognized in Canada, which means anyone who has been vaccinated with the likes of Sinovax or Sputnik would not be eligible.

Some are wondering if the U.S. may turn the tables on Canadians with a similar restriction that requires they be fully vaccinated before entry. The trouble is many Canadians, not to mention much of the population of the United Kingdom, are vaccinated with AstraZeneca, a vaccine that is not recognized for use in the United States.

The first Broadway show to re-open in New York City has said it would only allow fully-vaccinated people to enter the theatre, but would exclude anyone who took AstraZeneca.

The waters for foreign travel get muddier with anyone who has mixed vaccine doses as different jurisdictions are not in agreement on the practice.

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