July 20, 2021
The feds gave details Tuesday of a partial rollback of restrictions on foreign travelers entering Canada, said Blacklock’s Reporter.
It follows a decision by Saturday to waive a rule that non-essential travel bans remain in place until 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
“The relaxation of measures will be a gradual process,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu told reporters. Fully-vaccinated American travelers will be permitted into Canada effective August 9.
A current Quarantine Act requirement that air travelers pay for three nights’ stay in a federally-approved hotel will be repealed August 9, said Hajdu. “Travelers will now be able to go directly to their quarantine location,” she said.
Effective September 7 all foreigners with proof of full vaccination will be allowed into Canada, said Hajdu. Cabinet last Saturday repealed a legal requirement that strict border controls must remain “until the Canadian population has reached over 75% of the domestic population vaccinated with two doses.” The current rate is 50%.
“Could you explain why you stepped away from that 75%?” asked a reporter. “We are not changing our measures at this time for individuals that are not fully vaccinated,” replied Minister Hajdu.
“What would be the trigger for changing the rules?” asked a reporter. “One would be our own immunization campaign,” replied Hajdu.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told reporters he had no assurance the United States would similarly ease travel restrictions. “Each of us faces unique and constantly changing circumstances,” said Blair.
“You’re now allowing fully-vaccinated Americans in, but the Americans are not taking reciprocal measures; how long can this imbalance continue, do you think, before it starts getting politically embarrassing for the Canadian government?” asked a reporter. “There is nothing about this that’s embarrassing,” replied Blair.