Canada finally reopens its borders and will allow fully vaccinated Americans into the country from mid-August

 Fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed to travel to Canada starting mid-August, and fully vaccinated travelers from other countries will be allowed back into Canada in early September. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Thursday, saying if Canada's current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continues, the border can open.

Trudeau noted Canada continues to lead G20 countries in vaccination rates with approximately 80percent of eligible Canadians vaccinated with their first dose and over 50percent of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated. 

He said case numbers and severe illness continue to decline across the country as vaccination rates continue to increase.

In the US, 65.2percent of eligible Americans - which is ages 12 and up - have received at least one dose and 56.5percent are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC's latest numbers.  

In the early days of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed the 5,500-mile border to nonessential traffic, which has been in effect since last March. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured here in a meeting with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in Calgary on July 7, announced looser border restrictions

The 5,500-mile border from the US to Canada has been closed since last March

The 5,500-mile border from the US to Canada has been closed since last March

Canada announced it will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated Americans in mid-August and other fully vaccinated travelers in September 

About 56percent of the US's population is fully vaccinated

About 56percent of the US's population is fully vaccinated

But as vaccination rates in both countries increased and infection rates decreased, some were annoyed the two governments hadn't laid out detailed plans to fully reopen the border.

Canada began easing its restrictions earlier this month, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents to return Canada without quarantining.

But among the requirements are a negative test for the virus before returning, and another once they get back.

Providing exemptions for travel into Canada amid the pandemic is politically sensitive, and Trudeau is expected to call a federal election next month.

Trudeau said his ministers would share more details on the border early next week.

Commercial traffic has gone back and forth normally between the two countries since the start of the pandemic. Canadians are able to fly into the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.

The US Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion. Canadian officials say Canada had about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019 - about 15 million of them from the United States.

Tom Webb, a 63-year-old retired US navy pilot from Orchard Park, New York, said he's seriously thinking of selling his cottage in Georgian Bay, Ontario after not being to access it for almost two years even though he's vaccinated.

'I am beyond frustrated,' he said.

These are the latest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the US and US Territories

These are the latest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the US and US Territories 

Canadian officials have said they would like 75percent of eligible Canadian residents to be fully vaccinated before loosening border restrictions for tourists and business travelers. 

The Canadian government expects to have enough vaccine delivered for 80percent of eligible Canadians to be fully vaccinated by the end of July. The U.S. only allowed for exports of vaccines into Canada in early May.

Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to win an exemption to allow for home games to be played in Toronto starting July 30. 

Allowing unvaccinated players into the country remains a sticking point but protocols will be put in place. 

The Blue Jays have played home games during the shortened 2020 season in Buffalo, New York and started this season in Dunedin, Florida, before moving back to Buffalo.

The Canadian government didn't allow the team to play at home in Toronto because of the risk of spreading COVID-19, citing frequent travel required in the US during a baseball season.

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