Canada reportedly preparing to relax quarantine protocols for vaccinated visitors
There is potentially great news for travelers thinking of visiting Canada this summer as Canadian officials are getting set to announce new, more relaxed border COVID-19 restrictions for people who are fully vaccinated.
Bloomberg is reporting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to reduce the current 14-day mandatory quarantine period for anyone entering Canada, provided they have had two vaccine doses. Those travelers crossing the Canadian border would still be required to take a COVID test, and a quarantine period would still be necessary, but sources say it would be for a shorter amount of time.
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Currently, anyone entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival even if you have been fully vaccinated, tested negative for COVID, and/or show no symptoms.
At the moment, non-essential travel remains forbidden in Canada. Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, people registered under Canada’s Indian Act, protected persons, select foreign nationals traveling for essential reasons and immediate family members of Canadian citizens or residents are allowed to enter Canada, although there are some exceptions.
Trudeau is expected to make the announcement in the coming days, but it is not yet known when the proposed changes would go into effect. Also on Monday, Politico reported that Canada is looking at June 22 as the date to ease restrictions at the U.S.-Canadian border. That is the day after the long-running pact that limits non-essential travel between the neighboring countries which was put in place at the start of the pandemic is due for its monthly renewal.
Related: What to know about Canada's COVID border restrictions
The prime minister has previously said he would ease Canada's border restrictions when 75% of Canadians had received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 20% of the population had been fully vaccinated. As of May 29, more than 68 percent of Canadian adults had received at least one dose, while more than 7 percent were fully vaccinated.
It appears the decision to relax the quarantine requirements is due in part to the realization that doing so now would help salvage the summer tourist season. Pressure has been growing on both the Canadian and U.S. governments to ease restrictions that have been in place since March of 2020, which have drastically reduced ground and air traffic between the two nations. That pressure has intensified as vaccination rates continue to rise.
An extension of those restrictions for another month would be especially painful for the Canadian and American tourism industries, since it would restrict movement for the July 1 national holiday in Canada and the July 4 weekend in the states.
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