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Canada Takes First Step Toward Opening Border As US Maintains Restrictions

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Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans starting August 9 and plans to expand the ease in restrictions to other countries on September 7, the nation’s government announced Monday.

Both the U.S. and Canada have maintained a tight seal on their shared border since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the announcement from Canada, the U.S. still has not announced plans to ease current restrictions on either the U.S.-Canada border or the U.S.-Mexico border. Senior Canadian officials have expressed hope that the U.S. will announce a change in policy soon, however. (RELATED: Canadians Crossing US Border Via Helicopter Despite Travel Ban)

“We hope that at the right moment the American government will be able to change their border measures, however, we respect that it’s their decision,” Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters Monday, according to Politico. “We will continue to work in a privileged way with the Americans and we hope to have news from them soon.”

TOPSHOT - US Customs officers stand beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at the US/Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020. - The United States agreed with Mexico and Canada to restrict non-essential travel because of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak and is planning to repatriate undocumented immigrants arriving from those countries. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – US Customs officers stand beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at the US/Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters Monday that the U.S. still doesn’t haven any announcement regarding border policy despite the Canadian policy change.

“We are continuing to review our travel restrictions,” Psaki told reporters at a White House press briefing. “Any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously. We look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.”

Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said during a Monday press conference that he has been in contact with U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about a potential change in policy. The pair reportedly spoke Friday.

“[Mayorkas] indicated to me, at this time, they have not yet made a decision,” Blair said. “They anticipate their current measures will likely be rolled over on July 21. They are obviously considering additional measures and data, but at the present time they have not indicated a plan to make any changes in their current border restrictions.”

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