FRIDAY, July 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Fully vaccinated Americans may be able to visit Canada by mid-August, and fully vaccinated travelers from all countries may be able to visit by early September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada closed its land border with the United States in March 2020 and later restricted entry to other foreign visitors, the Washington Post reported.
But those restrictions could be set aside as Canadian vaccination rates increase and virus transmission slows, Trudeau told provincial premiers in a call on Thursday.
"The Prime Minister noted that, if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September," according to a statement from his office, the Post reported.
It also said that Trudeau told the premiers that his government could "expect to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel."
About 80% of eligible Canadians have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than half are fully vaccinated, according to the prime minister's office.
"Case numbers and severe illness continue to decline as vaccinations continue to increase," the statement said.
Canada is down to several hundred new cases a day and has a current seven-day average of just 10 COVID-19 deaths, according to Our World in Data, the Post reported.
The possibility of launching a "proof of vaccination credential" was also discussed, according to the statement, as well as a "system that would enable Canadians to travel internationally with confidence."
Visit the U.S. State Department for the latest international travel guidance.
SOURCE: Washington Post