Quarantine rules to be scaled back
Bloomberg News reported the government’s plan to loosen the 14 day isolation period for fully vaccinated people visiting the country. However, according to their sources, the quarantine periods will be shorter, and travelers would still have to take the Covid-19 tests.
We are expecting the announcement of the border reopening plan in the coming few days. The plan is, however, subject to change, and there might be no specific implementation period. It is also uncertain if Canada will first phase out with American citizens or the whole world at once. The percentage of people vaccinated with the first dose in Canada is higher than in the United States. Nonetheless, the fully vaccinated population in the United States is higher by 43%.
Despite the high risks involved, groups in and outside the country are pressuring the Prime Minister to relax the restrictions. An example is the Tourism Industry Association of Canada that launched a campaign to push for an end to the travelers’ mandatory three-day hotel quarantine. Others from in and outside the country call for safe reopening.
There has been a roaming debate on the fairness of the current travel restrictions. For instance, New York Democrat Brian Higgins believes that it is unfair for Canada to give exemptions to specific groups such as NHL players and deny people an opportunity to reunite with their families.
Another example is the letter from Republican congresswoman Elise Stefanik to the US Homeland Security stating her disapproval for the country to allow Canadians to visit the US for vaccination and bar US citizens from visiting their properties in Canada.
Canada closed its borders in March 2020 when the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. Over this period, the country only exempts essential travel. The latest border services data shows evidence on the effects of these regulations on trips, with the rates of land crossings coming down to 19% while air travels stand at 3% compared to the previous year 2019.