By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian officials are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss how to eventually lift pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries, but no immediate action is expected, said Reuters informed sources on Monday on the matter.
US and Canadian business leaders have expressed growing concern over the ban on non-essential travel at land borders due to COVID-19 which was imposed in March 2020 and has been renewed monthly since. The measures, which also apply to the US-Mexico border, do not affect trade or other essential travel.
Current restrictions are set to expire on June 21, but U.S. and industry officials expect them to be extended again.
Reuters reported on June 8 that the Biden administration was forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to determine the best way to safely resume travel after 15 months. pandemic restrictions.
A meeting is expected to take place with Mexico later this week and meetings with the UK and the EU are currently scheduled for next week, but the schedule could still change, three people briefed on the meetings said.
US restrictions prevent most non-US citizens who have stayed in the UK, Europe’s 26 Schengen countries without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil in the last 14 days to travel to the United States.
Reuters previously reported that U.S. and airline officials did not expect U.S. restrictions to be lifted until July 4 at the earliest.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he had spoken with US President Joe Biden on how to lift the restrictions, but made it clear that no breakthrough has been made.
Two officials said the working groups should each meet twice a month.
Last week, Canada took a cautious first step, saying it was ready to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home from early July. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)