Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canada won’t be rushed into reopening its border with the United States to non-essential travel even though COVID-19 cases continue to drop.

 

Calls for a reopening plan have started to heat up as vaccine coverage has increased on both sides of the border.

Trudeau said Monday that while many people want to see the border reopen, any easing of restrictions needs to be done carefully with Canadians’ safety in mind.

Trudeau suggested 75 per cent of Canadians need to be vaccinated and daily cases need to continue to decline across the country before his government would be willing to ease travel restrictions.

“We all want to reopen, we all want to go back to travelling to see friends, take vacations, go on trips,” he said. “But we don’t want to have to close again, tighten up again because there’s another wave.”

The land border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020, and the measure was recently extended until June 21.

Trudeau’s announcement came as Ontario and Quebec reported their lowest numbers of new COVID-19 infections in months.

Ontario reported 916 new cases of COVID-19, which is its lowest daily total since February. The last time that province reported fewer cases was on Feb. 17, with 847 new infections.

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