The Canadian government must decide whether or not to prolong its travel restrictions before the end of the day on July 21.
Non-essential travel is currently prohibited within Canada’s borders. Those who are let in are subject to quarantine until the government determines that they are adequately vaccinated. In addition, direct flights between Canada and India have been halted.
Because the orders-in-council are scheduled to expire in the coming days, the federal government will have to reexamine these measures. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has advocated for a phased reopening of the border, implying that the next stage will effect fully vaccinated travellers.
While the majority of Canadians want the border restored before the end of 2021, virtually all believe that border decisions should be based on health rather than economics. The results of a Nanos Research poll on public opinion were released this week.
This is how the Canadian government operates. The next major milestone for reopening will be when 80% of Canadians have been completely vaccinated, but this isn’t the only consideration.
Case numbers, hospitalisation rates, local outbreaks, variations of concern, and the global status of the pandemic are all being studied by health professionals.
Here’s what we know about the situation of the Canadian border, based on the most recent information, and what travellers might expect.
Testing and Quarantine
Before coming, everybody above the age of five must have a negative COVID test. Within 72 hours of crossing the border, you must take this test. Travellers must also register in advance for their on-arrival test before crossing the border.
Quarantine procedures differ for people flying into Canada and those crossing the US land border. Those who do not qualify for the quarantine exemption must book a hotel that has been certified by the government.
Quarantine exemptions are available for fully immunised travellers. They must have received the recommended dose of a Canada-approved vaccination to be deemed “completely immunised.”
Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson are the four vaccine manufacturers that Canada has approved so far. Before attempting to enter Canada, the final dose must have been received at least 14 days prior.
Officials have so far given no indication that quarantine or testing requirements would be changed when the present order-in-council expires on July 21.
Tourism is classified as “non-essential travel.” Trudeau previously stated that fully vaccinated tourists will be the next group considered for entry into Canada. Unvaccinated travellers, on the other hand, will have to wait “quite a bit” before crossing Canada’s border, according to the prime minister.
The tourism industry has pushed the government to come up with a thorough reopening strategy. Another lost summer is expected in the hard-hit industry. In 2020, tourism restrictions will cost the sector approximately half of its income.
Trudeau has stated that border limitations will be decided on the basis of science rather than public sentiment. He has stated that he does not want to relax limitations only to have to tighten them again as a result of an increase in instances.
Health officials gave signals weeks in advance, as we witnessed when quarantine measures were scaled back. Furthermore, the new measures did not go into effect on June 21, but were delayed until July 5.
Even if the government reverses its position on fully vaccinated tourists, the new regulation is unlikely to go into action right away. Stakeholders must time to prepare for tourist arrivals.
Direct flights between Canada and India have been banned since April 22. The government discovered a disproportionately high number of infections originating from India and Pakistan as a result of mandated traveller testing.
The travel ban will be in effect for 30 days, according to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. In May, the restriction was renewed, but in June, it was reduced for Pakistani travellers.
Travelers from India must now take a detour to reach Canada. According to the government website, those travelling to Canada from India via another country must undergo pre-departure testing in a third country.
Whether or whether this will alter on July 21 has yet to be determined by the transport minister.
Our government announced that it’s renewing the flight ban between Canada and India for 30 days, to July 21st, 2021.
Based on the public health data, we will not be renewing the flight ban between Canada and Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/vDvsnqjl1g
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) June 21, 2021
Border Between the United States and Canada
Travel restrictions imposed by the United States are distinct from those imposed by other countries. Part of the rationale is that the United States is Canada’s most important trading partner. In addition, the two countries share the world’s longest undefended land border.
Border towns that rely on cross-border transit for day-to-day survival have been particularly heavily struck. Families have been separated, travel to work has been disrupted, and sectors that rely on foreign travel and tourism have been damaged.
The limitations were expanded in collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security, according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
Our number one priority as we fight #COVID19 is keeping Canadians safe. In coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021.
— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) June 18, 2021
Shortly after, President Joe Biden was urged by Congress to reopen the border with Canada. Elise Stefanik, a New York congresswoman, wrote letters to all of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers.
She urged them to support the international border’s reopening. Although international travel is governed by the federal government, regional public health measures are the provinces’ responsibility.
Quarantine and testing are examples of measures that may influence travellers.
The travel ban between Canada and the United States is set to expire on July 21. Any changes to policies impacting tourism will very certainly affect travellers from the United States.