03:02 GMT24 July 2021
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    On Friday, it was decided to extend - until 21 July - the existing border restrictions for non-essential travel between the United States and Canada imposed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    New York Democratic Representative Brian Higgins on Friday rolled out a harsh reaction to the extension of travel restrictions between the US and Canada for another a month, calling the decision "bulls**t".

    "Millions of Americans and Canadians are counting on our governments to work together to reach an agreement that provides a clear roadmap for reopening the border between the two nations", a joint statement by Higgins and Republican counterpart, Bill Huizenga, reads. "The lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations is a disservice to our constituents and the millions of residents on both sides of the border waiting to see their loved ones, visit their property, and renew business ties".

    ​The decision to extend border restrictions was announced earlier in the day, with Canada's Minister for Public Safety Bill Blair saying that it was intended to "keep Canadians safe".

    "As we have said, the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, Permanent Residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter Canada", Blair noted.

    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argued that not enough Canadians have been vaccinated to ease the restrictions.

    "We're still seeing cases across the country and we want to get them down", Trudeau said, according to The Associated Press. "At the same time we also know we have to hit our targets of 75% vaccinated with the first dose and at least 20% vaccinated with the second dose before we can start loosening things up because even a fully vaccinated individual can pass on COVID-19 to someone who is not vaccinated".

    Calls for the relaxation of pandemic border controls between the countries have intensified, particularly in light of an announcement by Washington that the US would send additional vaccine doses to Canada. US Representative Chris Jacobs tweeted that it was "far past time for a specific plan to reopen the US – Canada border".

    ​In March 2020, the border between Canada and the United States was closed for non-essential travel, as the coronavirus pandemic began heating up.

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    Tags:
    COVID-19, border, Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden, Canada, US
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