Canadian border could reopen to non-essential travel soon

Canadian border could reopen to non-essential travel soon

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease border restrictions for travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

They will also be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada and remain in quarantine until that test comes back negative. The announcement received criticism when the government said that travellers would have to foot the $2,000 bill for their up to 72-hour stay, while they wait for the results of their PCR test. After that, they'd be free to go.

"Our core US market are those clients of hunting and fishing outfitters, so with the border closed it's a real challenge for people in the outfitting sector", said Jonathan Potts, executive director of marketing and communications for Tourism Saskatchewan. "For those that aren't vaccinated I wouldn't support lifting any restrictions and I continue to be concerned that there is a high volume of flights coming into Canada, from hotspot countries like India, Pakistan and they're simply being rebooked through other countries we get feedback on that on a daily basis from different community groups who are noticing it".

The government is hoping to make the changes by early July but did not set a hard date. "The general ballpark is the first week in July", Haijdu said.

"At the right time", border measures will be relaxed, Trudeau said in response to one question.

The mandatory hotel quarantine element of Canada's COVID-19 border measures was instituted in February, following an influx of holiday travellers, as a means to discourage non-essential global trips.

B.C. reports fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths
Bonnie Henry announced 184 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, the lowest number of cases since October 20, 2020. That was also the last date that the daily count was in the 100's, when 167 new cases were announced.

Official data show that 42.6% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, versus 8% of Canadians.

Experts have already suggested that Canada's existing two-tier quarantine system was ineffective.

The much-contested mandatory hotel quarantine that the Canadian government started imposing in February on all air passengers coming from worldwide destinations will apparently be no more for certain travellers starting next month. But people who crossed the land border could save money and skip the hotel quarantine by going straight home to isolate themselves. On May 28, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommended the federal government scrap the quarantine hotels altogether.

Worldwide arrivals have been required to quarantine since COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic back in March 2020.

LeBlanc also said the government is working with the provinces and the Canada Border Services Agency on a national document that would prove full vaccination, sometimes referred to as a vaccine passport.

Global travel restrictions have stifled tourism and prevented many people from seeing family overseas.

Related Articles