Restrictions will be eased as of July 5 for travellers to Canada who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Discussions are ongoing with provincial, territory, and global partners, with the aim of allowing for non-essential travel of fully vaccinated foreign nationals into Canada in the coming months".
Most restrictions on cross-border travel will remain in place until at least July 21, federal officials emphasized at a press conference Monday.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino also announced that individuals approved for permanent residence may travel to Canada as of June 21.
On Monday, officials said that as of 11:59 pm on July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to enter the country without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
In situations where unvaccinated children are travelling with fully vaccinated parents, they will not have to stay in a hotel, but will have to isolate at home.
The requirement to be asymptomatic remains, as do the mandatory pre-departure and on-arrival molecular testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.
Asked if that might allow Canada to reopen the border by the end of August, Blair said while he didn't want to get ahead of the country's public health agency, he was hopeful.
The government said the limited changes represented "a responsible, precautionary approach".
Fully-vaccinated travelers must still take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before arrival to Canada and use ArriveCAN to enter their information, including a quarantine plan and proof of vaccination.
If a fully vaccinated traveller does test positive they will be required to follow local public health guidance and quarantine requirements.
The government is requiring all travelers - whether arriving by land or air - to now disclose vaccination information at the border including vaccination status and the timing and brand of vaccine received, they say to help identify "vaccine-escape variants".
Hajdu was tight-lipped Monday on what would be required before Canada moved to the second phase of border reopening, saying simply the decision would be based on metrics like case rates and vaccination domestically, and the progression of COVID-19, notably the delta variant, internationally.
"Clearly, as those vaccines arrive and as Canadians continue to get in those lines and get vaccines into their arms, we're really optimistic that we can meet that threshold of 75 per cent", he said.
The United States is also holding working-group meetings on relaxing travel restrictions with the UK and the European Union, but USA and airline officials said previously they did not expect the Biden administration to lift the restrictions until around July 4 at the earliest. The new rules don't apply to tourists, and non-residents and partially vaccinated Canadians will still need to do the full quarantine.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government is also ending the ban on incoming flights from Pakistan but is extending the flight ban for flights from India for at least another month.