The border crossing between the U.S. and Canada in Houlton. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

HOULTON, Maine — Vaccinated U.S. Citizens will be allowed into Canada for non-essential travel around mid-August if current vaccination and public health rates continue, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told premiers of the country’s provinces and territories.

The premiers did not release a specific date.

The statement came during a call with the premiers of the country’s provinces and territories, the details of which were released by the prime minister’s office. Canada also plans to allow travel from all countries by the start of September. 

It is currently unknown what measures Americans may have to take in order to demonstrate proof of vaccination before entering Canada. Currently, dual citizens and Americans with Canadian family members may cross, but must produce a negative COVID -19 test result and download the ArriveCAN app to upload their proof of vaccination.

The announcement comes in the face of bipartisan pressure from U.S. politicians to reopen the border, as well as pressure from business groups who have urged reopening to take advantage of tourism dollars during the summer.

News of Canada’s opening is likely to come as a relief to many who have waited for more than a year since the border first closed. But the announcement of a mid-August opening means that most tourism opportunities will have to wait until the colder fall months. A lack of Canadian tourists for most of the summer could prevent the tourism economy of Maine from fully recovering this year.

Canada’s premier has expressed support of the reopening plans, and Trudeau said that more details about the reopening would be released in the coming week. Methods of how to verify proof of vaccination credentials are also likely to be discussed in the coming weeks.

For now, the border reopening only applies to fully vaccinated Americans — those who have received all required doses of their vaccine and waited at least 14 days since their final dose. Trudeau previously said that unvaccinated Americans will not be allowed into the country for “quite a while.”

As of Thursday, only 48 percent of eligible Americans were fully vaccinated, with 56 percent having at least one dose and 59 percent fully vaccinated. In Maine, 62 percent of its eligible population was vaccinated. Canada has 35 percent of its eligible population fully vaccinated, but 67 percent has received at least one dose. In New Brunswick, 48 percent of its eligible population was vaccinated.