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No border deal: Trudeau and Biden meet, but make no progress on removing US-Canada travel restrictions

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken to US President Joe Biden about the increasingly troublesome border restrictions between the two, but a deal has yet to be made.

“We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens,” Trudeau said at a Sunday press conference in Britain after a G7 summit, adding that more Canadians must be vaccinated before restrictions against non-essential travel are lifted. 

Travel restrictions between the US and Canada, implemented at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, have become increasingly controversial as businesses continue to open and health restrictions are lightened, with businesses complaining the ban is essentially halting the tourism industry.

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Biden and Trudeau met about easing back border restrictions on Saturday, but no deal was reached, with Canada lagging behind the US in its vaccination rate and wanting to hit 75% of citizens with at least one shot before removing travel restrictions. As of now, 61% of Canadians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the government’s vaccination records.

Trudeau showed signs of wanting to ease back travel restrictions earlier this month when the government announced that citizens returning home who are fully vaccinated could skip the 14 day quarantine starting in July that has been required.

Canada, Trudeau warned in his press conference though, is one of “many countries” that “say now is not the time to travel.”

The travel restrictions between the US and Canada have been renewed on a monthly basis since being put in place in March of 2020 and the current round of restrictions is set to expire on June 21, though that date will likely be extended.

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