Starting on July 5, Canada will soon relax its stringent quarantine requirements for all fully vaccinated United States residents who cross over the northern border of the country during authorized travel, according to a statement released by government officials yesterday.
The regulations that have been in place for the past 15 months call for mandatory 14-day quarantines for all travelers who cross the border; those will now be a thing of the past, according to the decision handed down on Monday.
Dominic LeBlanc, the Canadian Minster for Intergovernmental Affairs, stated “This is the first phase of our precautionary approach to easing Canada’s border measures. At this time, we are not opening up our borders any further.
“The government of Canada continues to work globally through the World Health Organization as well as closely with the provinces, territories, Indigenous partners and American authorities on moving forward toward reopening in a way that is safe for both countries.”
All nonessential travel still prohibited between the nations
Nonessential travel to the US’ gigantic northern neighbor is still prohibited, despite the fact that the US has undergone an extremely rapid vaccine rollout and in many northern-tier states the partial vaccination rate tops 70% — very similar to that in Canada, where the inoculation program was much slower.
Last Friday, Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair stated that the ban on nonessential travel for Americans would be extended for at least another month, despite the US reaching the vaccine saturation point that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau had held out earlier as a milestone for the resumption of opening the border.
At present, 75% of Canadian adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 20% are now fully vaccinated.
Although the closed border means that another Summer has begun with a closed border between the nations, the nw ruling does help some families who have residents on both sides of the border. Those wanting to visit loved ones have had to undergo draconian 14-day quarantines for the past 15 months.
Blair stated yesterday that “Although the future is looking brighter than it has for a long time with COVID-19 cases on a downward trend and vaccination efforts going well across the country, we can’t let our guard down.”
“Our phased approach to easing border measures is guided by facts, scientific evidence and the advice of our public health experts.
Reopening may occur after July 21
“In all that we’re doing in response to this pandemic, our top priority continues to be the health, safety and security of all Canadians.”
A growing cadre of US politicians from both sides of the aisle have made their opinions on the matter known as the long border closure stretches into its second summer.
Veteran US Senators Chuck Schumer and Susan Collins have both spoken out publicly regarding the continued closure, which hurts tourism on both sides of the 5,525-mile-long international border.
However, US authorities have extended the closure to Mexico and Canada as well, with the borders closed to nonessential traffic at least until July 21.
All those who are allowed to enter Canada after July 5 — including all dual citizens and those who have close family members on the other side of the border – must download the “ArriveCAN” app and enter all pertinent information there, including vaccination dates, contact information, a plan in case quarantine is needed and a self-reported assessment of Covid-19 symptoms.
Once at the Canadian border they must still answer health screening questions and take a Covid-19 arrival test.
However, all those who are fully vaccinated, with more than 14 days having elapsed after their last coronavirus shot, they will be exempt from all quarantines.
Children under 12, who are as yet unable to receive vaccinations will still be subject to quarantine if they test positive at the border.
The prevalence of the Delta variant, earlier known as the Indian variant, is the cause for the continued concern, according to Canadian Federal Health Minister Patty Hadju. The decision to extend the nonessential travel ban with the US was made over concern that the new strain was more easily transmissible than previous strains of the virus.
“We still want to be certain that when we start to see increased numbers of travelers traveling around the world to a variety of different locations, and higher volumes of people coming from ll kinds of parts of the world, that we need to have the domestic protection that we need (sic) for any importation of Covid-19.”