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White House won’t commit to reopening northern border, despite announcement from Canada

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

Last month, the US Department of Homeland Security extended Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico until Wednesday. While the Canadians have announced Americans can reenter Canada next month, it’s unclear what the US will do. The timing on a decision on whether to extend the restrictions on the US and Mexico is not clear.
The White House has been under pressure from foreign allies to resume international travel after keeping bans that were initially put in place under former President Donald Trump. It was a topic of discussion last week between President Joe Biden and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who questioned why the restrictions remain in place, and was also brought up during Biden’s trip to Europe for the G7 and NATO summits in June.

Beginning August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States currently residing in the US will be permitted to enter Canada, the Canadian government announced Monday. Non-essential travel into Canada has been banned since March 2020, something the Canadian government said was necessary to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

International travelers may also be allowed to enter Canada beginning September 7 provided that the “COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable,” the Canadian government said in statement.

All fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Canadian government at least 14 days prior to entering the country. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Travelers must provide evidence proving they have been vaccinated.

CNN’s Paula Newton contributed to this report.

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