The federal government on Wednesday announced that “fully vaccinated” Canadian travellers will no longer require mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine upon arrival in Canada. Come July, the exemption will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents flying back home, according to Intergovernmental Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
“As Prime Minister Trudeau has said a number of times, we will adjust border measures gradually keeping the health of Canadians, first and foremost, in our sights,” LeBlanc said during a COVID-19 press conference Wednesday.
Federal health minister Patty Hadju said that these new measures are “being considered as the first step in this approach.”
“[Canadians] will need to be vaccinated 14 days or more prior to their arrival,” Hajdu added.
The government also waived the need for Canadian air travellers, who have had the full course of of a COVID-19 vaccine, to spend three days in isolation in a pre-authorized hotel upon arriving in the country, though they will be required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, and stay in isolation until the test comes back negative, Hajdu said.
The Canadian government had banned non-essential travel, including the arrival of non-essential foreign nationals into the country in March 2020.
Later, the rules were tweaked to require negative COVID-19 PCR tests prior to and post arrival, followed by a period of mandatory quarantine. Fines were also imposed for flouting rules.
However, Minister LeBlanc said Wednesday that Canadians will now get “more of an idea about what they can expect in the weeks to come.”
“The first phase we’re considering now is aimed at allowing fully vaccinated individuals who are authorized to enter the country to be able to cross the border without having to stay in a government authorized accommodation,” he said.
“Vaccination is key,” he said. “So are the public health measures and so is the drop in case rate and in the number of hospitalizations.”
“These are indicators that we look at to decide which changes need to be made with the improvement of the situation in Canada,” he added.
Fully vaccinated individuals still need a screening test before departure as well as a covid test upon arrival, they will have to be in quarantine at home until they get a negative result to their test.
More to come…
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