Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

On Monday, officials said that as of 11:59 pm on July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to enter the country without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

On Friday, Canada extended the restrictions until at least July 21, though it's expected to announce the easing of some rules Monday for fully vaccinated citizens.

The measures announced Monday do not open Canada's borders to foreign nationals wishing to enter Canada for non-essential reasons. "If you are planning to travel internationally this summer, keep in mind to check the requirements of the country that you're visiting".

"It is the travellers responsibility to plan ahead, to understand their obligations, and to ensure that they are eligible".

"Discussions are ongoing with provincial, territory, and worldwide partners, with the aim of allowing for non-essential travel of fully vaccinated foreign nationals into Canada in the coming months".

Homeland Security said in a statement it noted "positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other USA agencies in the White House's expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably".

Those travellers must have two doses of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive. Entering fraudulent information into the app will result in fines of up to $750,000 or six months in prison.

No changes have been made to border measures for travellers who are not fully vaccinated. Those arriving by air will also not be forced to stay at a government-authorized hotel and non-vaccinated children or dependent adults travelling with them will also be exempt from the hotel stay.

This first step in a "phased" border reopening changes nothing for travellers who have yet to receive a vaccine, or who have just had one shot.

As well, vaccinated travellers won't be subjected to the controversial three-day mandatory hotel quarantine - a program derided by many experts as a needless and ineffective measure to halt COVID-19 infections from entering Canada via global travel.

The government also announced Monday that in this first step of reopening, worldwide commercial flights will continue to be funneled through the Montréal-Trudeau global Airport, Toronto Pearson worldwide Airport, Calgary global Airport and Vancouver worldwide Airport.

Airlines, tour operators and other businesses on both sides of the border have been pleading for a reopening, with the vital summer season about to begin, and Canada's go-slow approach is causing frustration.

This week, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, held a meeting with the Secretary of National Security of the United States, Alejandro Mayorkas, in which they agreed to accelerate the rate of vaccinations at the border to speed up trade, tourism, and travel.

Addressing media after the announcement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that the extension of the travel restrictions may be "frustrating" for many people but that his goal is to keep Canadians safe.

More than 75 percent of Canadians have currently received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 20 percent are now fully vaccinated.

The travel restrictions between the two countries were first imposed in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and have been extended in 30-day increments since then.

"We recognize that people are anxiously awaiting to reopen the border", Blair said.

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