Fully vaccinated Americans could be allowed to cross into Canada for non-essential travel as soon as mid-August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday.
That would grant Americans entrance slightly ahead of fully vaccinated travelers from the rest of the world, which Canada plans to do by early September.
In a call with other Canadian officials, Mr. Trudeau noted that Canada could open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers “if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue,” according to a readout posted by the prime minister’s office.
The U.S. and Canadian governments shut down the more than 5,500-mile border to nonessential travel at the start of the pandemic. However, Canada began relaxing restrictions earlier this month to allow fully vaccinated citizens or permanent legal residents to return to the country without self-isolating.
Citizens and residents must test negative for COVID-19 before returning to Canada and when they get back.
Case numbers and severe illness have dropped across the country as vaccination rates climb, officials said. Canada leads the G20 countries in vaccination rates, with about 80% of eligible citizens partially vaccinated and more than 50% of them fully vaccinated, Mr. Trudeau said.
Mr. Trudeau also said officials will be working on a proof of vaccination credential and will provide more details about border plans early next week.
Before further opening the border to tourists and business travelers, Canadian officials said they would like 75% of eligible residents to be fully vaccinated. The country is expected to have enough vaccine doses on hand for 80% of eligible Canadians to be fully inoculated by the end of the month.
Canada just started receiving imports of vaccines from the U.S. in May.
• This story includes wire service reports.