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Canada extending border closure

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:24 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Canadian officials say they will be extending the U.S.-Canada border closure for at least another month.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted Friday that the country will be extending the closure for nonessential travel until July 21. The closure was set to expire Monday.

“Our number one priority as we fight #COVID19 is keeping Canadians safe,” Blair said.

Blair said the government will announce some easing of restrictions on Monday for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter Canada.

The news comes as Canada continues to ramp up vaccinations, with more than 65% of the entire country having received at least one shot. Quebec is the second most vaccinated province.

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to nonessential travel since the early days of the pandemic in March 2020.

Leader’s representing New Hampshire’s north country were among those disappointed by the decision its’ continued economic disruptions.

“We also need to think of other ways that we can work together. With my role at Northern Vermont University, we are engaging the University to Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University to try to figure out ways we can get students conferring and working on things through internships that are virtual, so that at least we are moving the relationships forward even though they can’t physically go there,” said Rep. Timothy Egan, D-Sugar Hill.

Hill sits on the board of directors for the New England Canada Business Council and says a long-term concern is that tourists could end up changing their travel habits the longer the border remains closed.

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