Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease Canada’s border restrictions on passengers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to sources.
The government is drawing up plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for border crossers who have had two doses of vaccines, people said, provided they are not identified. Travelers entering Canada will still be tested for the virus and may need quarantine for a shorter period.
The plan is expected to be announced within days, although the weather may change, according to people. It is unclear when the changes will take effect or whether Canada will open its borders to non-US travelers at the same time.
There is growing pressure on the governments of Canada and the United States to reduce restrictions that have been in place since March last year, drastically reducing land and air traffic between the two countries. A pact restricting minor travel is due to be renewed on June 21
Stakeholders and government officials say there is now a sense of urgency, as this may be the last chance to open the border in time for the summer season. Extending the measures by another month would be a huge blow to the tourism sector, restricting traffic for the national holiday on July 1 in Canada and the weekend on July 4 in the United States.
“Businesses need time to plan,” Mark Agnew, vice president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said by telephone. “Tell us what the roadmap, plan and indicators are.”
The prime minister’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Trudeau mentioned a 75% vaccination rate as a key threshold when asked about a potential reopening of the border. More than 60% of Canadians received the first dose with about 8% fully vaccinated, according to data tracked by Canadian Broadcasting Corp. In the United States, 51.6% fired their first shot and 42.1% had two, according to Tracking of Bloomberg vaccines. There are active cases in both countries submerged.
Canadian government advisory panel last month recommended that fully vaccinated passengers be quarantined and that the three-day “hotel quarantine” for airline passengers be lifted.
“With the help of Shelley Hagan.”