By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada is extending the ban on non-essential travel with the United States and the rest of the world until July 21, Public Security Minister Bill Blair said on Friday, sparking frustration from concerned businesses. for the economic damage.
Canada’s liberal government is under increasing pressure from business and the tourism industry to ease the ban, which was first imposed in March 2020 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and has been renewed monthly. since then.
“In coordination with the United States, we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21, 2021,” Blair said on Twitter.
Ottawa will reveal on June 21 how it plans to begin lifting measures for fully vaccinated Canadians and others currently allowed into Canada, he added.
Although the ban does not affect trade in goods, it is affecting travel operators and the export of services.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, a national business advocacy group, lamented what it said was Ottawa’s slowness, especially since about 75% of Canada’s population had already received at least one dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus.
“I’m disappointed … all the science would say we should move forward to reopen the border. We don’t even have a plan right now,” said Perrin Beatty, the group’s president and CEO.
“Unfortunately, Canada is the proverbial deer caught in the headlights … we are the world leader in terms of first shots and we are a global laggard when it comes to strategy,” he said in a telephone interview.
The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said last week that the federal government was preparing to lift quarantine protocols for citizens who had received their second dose of a vaccine.
The United States government has created working groups with Mexico and Canada to discuss the restrictions. The groups held their initial meetings this week, sources told Reuters.
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