Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Trudeau says Canada will open borders for fully vaccinated global travellers

Canada's plan is expected be announced within days Canada to ease restrictions for vaccinated travelersPremiumCanada's plan is expected be announced within days
Cary Erickson | 09 June, 2021, 05:52

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped short of confirming Tuesday whether fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to travel more freely by this summer.

The Prime Minister, however, did not offer any timeline for reopening the border.

The government should "clearly spell out how and when we will restart air travel between Canada and the USA, with the objective of releasing the plan prior to June 21", the National Airlines Council of Canada and Airlines for America said in a joint letter sent to three Canadian cabinet ministers.

"We are still very much working both with medical professionals, with epidemiological experts, with partners in the United States and when there are announcements to make, you can be sure we'll be making them", Trudeau said.

Diodati said the best way to achieve easing border restrictions is for the US and Canada to work together on the matter and provide transparency. About 60% of Canada's population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 60% of Canadians have received a first dose with about 8% fully vaccinated, according to data tracked by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki did little to suggest otherwise Tuesday.

The government advisory group in Ottawa said fully vaccinated travelers should be exempt from both quarantine and pre-departure virus tests, and that Canada should drop the hotel quarantine entirely.

If we can do it for some, we can surely find a way to do it for all.

Delta variant caused deadly second wave - Indian study
The change is in the spike protein and has been seen before, including in the so-called South African or Beta variant . Experts believe this mutation has the potential to allow the virus to evade protection from vaccines to some degree.

Examples of optional or discretionary travel include, but are not limited to: hikes across the border, social events, such as birthday parties or weddings, boating across the border, camping, picking up a pet, visiting or checking on a seasonal residence, etc. US citizens without a right of entry to Canada or who do not meet an exemption, attempting to visit Canada for an optional reason will be turned away at the border, even if they are vaccinated.

"In our view, the vaccination campaigns in both countries have progressed to the point where it is time to revisit the restrictions", said the group, which includes both the Canadian and US chambers of commerce, the Business Council of Canada and the USA -based National Retail Federation.

Canadian and USA business leaders also banded together Tuesday, issuing a fresh appeal to the federal government to start putting plans in place.

Doing so, they said, "would sustain jobs, boost business confidence and allow more families to reunite. It would help facilitate a safe and gradual return to a more normal life". 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. Science and progress in fighting the pandemic have made this possible.

Nor is Trudeau providing details about what sort of measures are in the works, beyond insisting it will be a science-based decision.

"It's very clear that even though one dose has allowed us to significantly protect Canadians and remove numerous pressures from our public health systems, it is still an incomplete protection", Trudeau said.

As vaccination rates increase, pressure has been mounting on the federal government to put a plan in place to allow cross-border travel to resume before the restrictions are due for renewal on June 21.