Canadians and exempt travellers who are fully vaccinated will soon have an amended quarantine requirement when arriving from abroad.
Travelers who are already exempt from travel restrictions, according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, will not have to quarantine for the full 14 days if they have received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of arrival.
The health minister did not provide a firm date for when these measures would go into effect, but suggested “early July” if case counts continue to fall. The general ballpark estimate, according to Hajdu, is the first week of July, but the federal government is still consulting with provincial governments, as well as the departments of public safety and immigration.
Hajdu also stated that only vaccines approved in Canada will be accepted. Currently, four vaccines have been approved by Canada: Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna. In the future, Health Canada will evaluate other vaccines, according to Hajdu.
According to Hajdu, Canada will take a phased approach to adjusting border measures, echoing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's previous statements.
Travellers will still be required to present a negative PCR COVID test upon arrival at the border, as well as a suitable quarantine plan while they await the results. If the test results are negative, they could be released in as little as one day.
Travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine rules have been in effect since Canada declared a state of emergency in March 2020. The three-day hotel stay quarantine has been in effect since February of this year.
Last month, shortly after the restrictions were extended to June 21, Canada's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel called for the elimination of hotel quarantine rules for all visitors. They stated that it is unclear whether or not the hotel quarantine is effective.
Government officials have hinted that border restrictions may be relaxed by the end of June or July. According to recent public opinion polls, Trudeau previously stated that Canada is not in a rush to reopen the border. However, Trudeau has recently stated that Canada is considering a phased-in approach to allowing cross-border travel.
The government has not set an official date for the border's reopening.
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