Canada to lift some restrictions on fully vaccinated travellers

Canada has made progress on equality but 'long way to go,' says Abella Rosemary Barton Live1 hour ago14:28

In a statement, Canadian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Perrin Beatty says that while the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians "is a welcome step", the absence of a plan for a full border reopening has left businesses feeling frustrated.

The travel announcement people all over Canada have been waiting for has finally come through, confirming that fully-vaccinated citizens will no longer be forced to quarantine at government-approved hotel sites upon returning, by air or land, from anywhere outside the country.

Travelers will still need to quarantine until they receive the results of the second test.

To be considered for the exemption, the travellers must have received a vaccine that is now approved for use in Canada, and must have received all required doses at least 14 days before leaving.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood firm, saying last week the border would stay largely shut until 75% of Canadians had received the first of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine and 20% had been given both shots.

Among the information the federal government is making mandatory to submit through the app: travel and contact details; quarantine plans, and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.

The federal government is easing some restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border, but the biggest changes apply only to those already eligible to cross. Officials briefing reporters on the new procedures said that the vaccinations do not have to be administered in Canada, and the list of applicable vaccines could change over time. They must have this documentation for two weeks after entering Canada. The panel recommended in May that the government discontinue hotel quarantine measures entirely, and that quarantine rules for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers be reduced alongside the use of testing. "If you are planning to travel internationally this summer, keep in mind to check the requirements of the country that you're visiting". "They should do this before heading to the border", Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.

"Canadian communities whose jobs and livelihoods rely on tourism and companies that need to bring staff into the country for critical business functions will continue to feel the impact of these excessive restrictions", Beatty said. "In all that we're doing in response to this pandemic, our top priority continues to be the health, safety and security of all Canadians".

"In other words, foreign national coming to Canada for non-essential purposes will be turned away at our borders", added Blair.

Canadians were counting on the government to proceed slowly, Hajdu said.

In talks between the United States and Canada last week, the US government did not endorse setting a specific threshold to trigger lifting the restrictions, a person briefed on the talks said.

"As the situation evolves, we will respond with new and adjusted border measures as needed, to keep Canadians safe and the economy running", Transport Minister Omar Alghabra added, noting he will be working with global, provincial, territorial, and industry partners to "determine next steps later this summer".