Travel restrictions will ease, eventually: Trudeau
Jun 09 2021
Right now, most people enteringCanada have to endure a 14-day quarantine, and those arriving through airports are supposed to spend as much as three days in an approved hotel while they wait for test results.
Business groups are calling on the Canadian and USA governments to relax border restrictions for vaccinated travelers this month, increasing pressure on Justin Trudeau to act swiftly.
When pressed on when he expected border restrictions to ease, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday he didn't wish to make any guesses. "We all understand that we want to get back to normal".
The two nations banned non-essential travel across the frontier in March previous year and have extended the limitation every month since then.
Anyone coming to Canada would need to be fully vaccinated before arriving, Trudeau said during an afternoon event, because the country can't risk another wave of COVID-19.
But last week, two Liberal MPs - Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Wayne Easter, co-chairman of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, a bilateral committee of lawmakers and MPs - joined forces with Higgins to echo his call for a new approach. While 53 per cent of respondents remain somewhat uncomfortable with easing restrictions on U.S.travel, that's down from closer to 80 per cent earlier in the pandemic.
Trudeau adds that when borders do start to reopen, Canada will likely be an attractive destination for tourists given our high vaccination rate.
Some travel and tourism businesses say it's urgent.
USA and Canadian government officials began discussions to loosen restrictions on the world's longest undefended border earlier this year.
The Prime Minister, however, did not offer any timeline for reopening the border.
"Even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians, to remove numerous pressures from our public health systems, it is still an incomplete protection and we need people to get the full two doses of their vaccines", he said. "I think it would be an incentive to get vaccinated", Germain said. The border between the two nations has been closed to most non-essential travel since the start of the pandemic.
Although the measures exclude trade, the tourism sector and airlines complain they are suffering financially.
A source familiar with the talks said Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair had told U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas that Canada could theoretically be able to admit fully vaccinated Americans by August.