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US-Canadian border restrictions to be extended through June: report

Restrictions on nonessential travel across the U.S.-Canadian border will be extended through June, Canadian news outlet CTV News reported Tuesday.

The report comes two days before the most recent extension is set to expire. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on April 20 that the restrictions will continue through May 21.

The restrictions apply to nonessential travel, while maintaining the flow of essential trade and travel. The measures were first imposed in March 2020, and had been repeatedly extended from month to month as the pandemic continued. 

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Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauUS-Canada border restrictions extended until July 21 Trudeau nominates first person of color to Canada's Supreme Court Canadian man who killed four members of Muslim family to face terrorism charges MORE suggested on Tuesday that three-quarters of Canadians would have to be vaccinated before the border could be reopened, according to The Canadian Press.

Over 46 percent of Canada's population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. By comparison, 60.2 percent of the U.S. adult population has received one dose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

James Cudmore, director of communications for Canadian Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, didn't confirm the report to The Hill, but said "the measures have been in place for more than a year and have been modified and strengthened over time to keep our communities safe from COVID-19. Alongside our counterparts abroad, we have extended the current measures until May 21, 2021, and they could be extended again." 

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"As Minster Bill Blair has said, 'until we can be assured, based on the advice that we receive from our public health officials and our evaluation of those conditions is such that we believe that those restrictions can be lifted safely, we'll keep them in place,'" Cudomore continued. "I expect the government will have more to say on this matter in the days ahead." 

Bloomberg News reported last week that Trudeau’s government began preliminary discussions about reopening the border, citing three people familiar with the matter. The people said that a reopening of the border was not imminent, and would be contingent on declining cases in both countries.

The State Department deferred requests for comment to The Whiet House, who deferred to inquiries to DHS. 

The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment. 

Updated at 4:22 p.m.