Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Canadian border could reopen to non-essential travel soon

Canada prepares to ease quarantine rules for vaccinated travelers: Bloomberg Canada to soon say how it will ease curbs at U.S. border for fully vaccinated citizens - PM
Kristine Garrett | 09 June, 2021, 22:06

Following the publication of the expert advisory panel's report on how Canada's border measures should evolve, the federal government turned to the provinces and territories for their opinions on what changes should be made.

In an interview with 7 Eyewitness News Tuesday, Diodati said in a recent meeting of border mayors with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, Blair suggested that if 75% of people received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 20% were fully vaccinated, border restrictions could be eased beginning June 22.

Pressure has been growing on the Canadian and US governments to relax restrictions that have been in place since March of a year ago, dramatically reducing land and air traffic between the two countries.

"It's very clear that 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".

"It's very clear that even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians to remove numerous pressures from our public health systems, it's still an incomplete protection and we need people to get the full two doses of their vaccines".

Canada is making plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for travelers who have received two vaccine doses, Bloomberg reported. In May the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the closure was extended through June 21, 2021.

People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be able to sidestep some restrictions when entering Canada, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "And, of course, you only have to look at our border cities like Niagara (Falls) who have lost close to $2 billion over the a year ago from not being able to access this US market".

Stakeholders and government officials say there's a sense of urgency now, given that it may be the last opportunity to open up the border in time for the summer season.

The government will also eliminate the need for fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers to spend three days quarantining in an authorized hotel upon arriving in the country.

For fully-vaccinated travellers the panel recommended that they provide "acceptable" proof of vaccination, as defined by the government, and the removal of the pre-departure test requirement. They will also have to have a "suitable quarantine plan" as they wait for their airport test results.

Those who test positive upon arrival must stay in the hotel or another government mandated facility for 14 days. Now, tickets issued by police for violations of the Quarantine Act will carry a maximum fine of $5,000.

Easing restrictions this month "to take account of rising vaccination levels would sustain jobs, boost business confidence and allow more families to reunite", the groups said.

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