Canada expected to ease COVID restrictions, open U.S. border to travel in coming days

Canada-U.S. border travel closed in March 2020 to limit nonessential travel during the beginning of the pandemic.
The Canadian flag

Canadian border cities are preparing to lift COVID-19 restrictions that have kept traveling to a minimum, amid reports from city mayors that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could be ready to loosen border measures as soon as June 22. 

Canada-U.S. border travel closed in March 2020, early in the pandemic, to limit nonessential trips. Both countries have mutually been renewing a month by month arrangement to keep the border essentially closed. 

The next agreement is set to end on June 21 and is likely to officially end the monthly closures.

The Biden administration has faced increasing pressure to loosen the Canadian border measures but has yet to announce any changes. 

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati said the Public Safety Minister Bill Blair delivered a message about the reopening during a recent virtual meeting of border mayors from the province, according to Politico.

"He didn’t put it in stone, but he suggested that [June 22] is the date they’re looking at," Diodati said Monday of the meeting with Blair, Trudeau’s Cabinet minister in charge of the border. "We’re hoping to get some more confirmation this week."

Canada had as of May 29 fully-vaccinated just 7% of its population. However, 68% has received the first of the two doses. 

"The federal government’s nervous," said Diodati, whose city relies heavily on American tourists. "They don’t want to make a mistake or misstep. We get that."