Canada is preparing to open its borders to travelers in the coming months as coronavirus infections continue to decline across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.
According to a statement released by his office, Mr. Trudeau said during a meeting with Canadian regional leaders that if current trends continued, “Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.” Immunized Americans and permanent residents could be allowed in as early as mid-August, he added.
Canada initially trailed the United States in its vaccination campaign, as the manufacturers of two vaccines currently approved in Canada, Pfizer and Moderna, faced production issues this year.
But the country has quickly caught up. About 47 percent of Canadians have been fully vaccinated, and about 70 percent have received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to a New York Times tracker. (In the United States, about 48 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and about 56 percent has received at least one dose.)
Canada’s regional authorities have recently lifted restrictions, as hospitalizations and deaths have been steadily declining.
Canadian provincial ministers are expected to share details of their reopening plans early next week.
In other news from around the world:
In France, the Eiffel Tower reopened to the public on Friday, nearly nine months after it shut down because of the pandemic. It was its longest closure since the end of World World II. The tower is set to operate at only half-capacity, and starting Wednesday, visitors will have to present proof of vaccination or a negative test. As of Friday, 70,000 tickets had been booked for visits through the end of August.
In Spain, a nighttime curfew is set to come into force on Saturday in Barcelona and other towns and cities in the northeastern region of Catalonia. The new restrictions come as the region has faced a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have doubled in a week. The curfew will be enforced from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. until at least July 23.