The U.S. is advising its citizens to reconsider travelling to Canada, citing COVID-19 risks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the Level 3 travel advisory for Canada on Monday, which indicates “a high level of COVID-19 in the country.”
Level 3 is the second-highest tier in the country’s travel advisory levels, with Level 4 warning U.S. citizens to not travel to the labelled country.
The advisory comes after the U.S. decided earlier this month to keep its land border closed with Canada until at least Sept. 21 over delta variant concerns.
“The delta variant is driving an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said at the time. “Canada and Mexico are also seeing increased case counts and deaths.”
The renewal of the border closure does not affect the ability of U.S. citizens currently in Canada to cross the land border into the U.S. or of Canadians to fly to the U.S. Canada had opened its land, air and sea borders with the U.S. to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9.
Also on Monday, the European Union recommended that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infections there.
The EU’s decision reflects growing anxiety that the rampant spread of the virus in the U.S. could jump to Europe at a time when Americans are allowed to travel there. Both the EU and the U.S. have faced rising infections this summer, driven by the more contagious delta variant.
The guidance issued Monday is non-binding, however, and member countries will keep the option of admitting fully vaccinated U.S. travellers.
The European Council updates the safe travel list every two weeks based on criteria related to coronavirus infection levels — the threshold for being on the EU safe list is having not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days. On Monday, the EU lifted restrictions for Canada, recommending member nations allow entry to non-essential Canadian travellers.
The U.S., meanwhile, is averaging more than 155,000 new coronavirus cases and 1,200 deaths per day, and several U.S. states have more COVID-19 patients in the hospital now than at any other time during the pandemic.
Vaccine hesitancy also remains a problem in many locations in the U.S., where 61 per cent of the eligible population is inoculated against the virus. In contrast, Canada has fully vaccinated more than 76 per cent of those over 12 and EU countries have inoculated nearly 70 per cent of those over 18.
What’s happening across Canada
- Manitoba immunization cards now available to eligible people without health cards.
- 9 new cases in N.L. as small cluster emerges in Western Health region.
What’s happening around the world
As of Monday afternoon more than 216.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking coronavirus cases. The reported global death toll stood at 4.5 million.
In the Americas, children in Mexico began a new school year amid a third wave of infections and a patchwork of COVID-19 schooling rules across the country.
In Europe, Norway joined neighbouring Denmark in offering people with severely weakened immune systems a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In Africa, the African Union and France announced in a statement on Monday a “new partnership” allowing Paris to deliver some 10 million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to the continent.
In Asia-Pacific, Australia’s New South Wales reported a record 1,290 new cases as the nation struggles to contain the highly contagious delta variant.