By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans could start heading north of the border next month.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that his country could start allowing Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country by mid-August for non-essential travel. The northern border, which spans more than 5,500 miles, has been closed for over a year to non-essential traffic.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar released a statement on the border update Friday morning.

“Since the pandemic began, border restrictions have resulted in serious disruptions for so many close to the border,” Klobuchar said. “Opening the border will increase tourism, make it easier to see family and friends, and allow businesses to get goods to market. While we see the light at the end of the tunnel, I will continue to push for the lifting of border restrictions until it’s done.

Businesses on both sides of the border say that travel restrictions have hit them hard since the pandemic began.

When speaking to reporters, Trudeau said that Canada continues to lead G20 countries in vaccination rates, with about 80% of eligible Canadians vaccinated with their first vaccine dose and over 50% fully inoculated.

Trudeau said that COVID-19 case numbers and severe illness continue to decline across Canada as vaccination rates increase.