Canadians won’t reopen the border with the United States before they’re ready, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday at a press conference in Ottawa. “We’re on the right path, but we’ll make our decisions based on the interests of Canadians and not based on what other countries want.”

The 5,525-mile border between the U.S. and Canada has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020. The closure has been extended on a month-by-month basis, and the current restrictions expire in three weeks, on June 21.

For the past two weeks, Trudeau has insisted that border restrictions need to stay in place until at least 75% of Canadians have at least their first shot. Right now, 51% of Canadians have had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the government’s vaccination dashboard.

That’s on par with the United States, where 50% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the vaccination tracker from the Brown School of Public Health.

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

Just over three quarters of Canadians (76%) believe that proof of vaccination should be required to travel to the United States, according to a recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute. That finding mirrors an Ipsos survey from last month, in which nearly eight in 10 Canadians (78%) agreed that all travelers entering Canada should be required to have a vaccine passport.

Both Trudeau and Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu have said previously that the government will come up with a form of vaccine certification to allow vaccinated Canadians to travel internationally.

“Canadians need to be able to have the right kind of certification for international travel because, as we know, Canadians will want to travel internationally, and they will want to make sure they have the right credentials to do that from a vaccination perspective,” Hajdu said in an interview with CBC Radio. “We’ll be working with our international partners to make sure that whatever the world lands on, Canadians will have documents in the appropriate format.”

Trudeau said during a news conference that vaccination certifications were a part of international travel before Covid-19 and are “naturally to be expected when it comes to this pandemic and the coronavirus.”

Hajdu said Canada will likely adapt the free ArriveCAN app, which was introduced in April 2020 to help travelers comply with border measures. Air travelers flying into Canada are required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before boarding their flight. This includes travel and contact information, a quarantine plan and Covid-19 symptom self-assessment. Travelers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when entering Canada.

Throughout the pandemic, Biden administration has resisted the idea of a “vaccine passport” for the United States. But last Friday, Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. is considering developing a vaccine verification for international travel.

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