CANADA TO MAKE ARRIVECAN OPTIONAL AND ELIMINATE BORDER VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS BY SEPTEMBER 30
Four sources say that although the changes are scheduled to take effect on September 30 and will apply to arrivals at ports of entry by land, air and sea, the cabinet has not yet approved them. As the sources are not allowed to speak publicly about the situation, The Globe and Mail does not name them.
According to the two people, the need to use masks on trains and airplanes will continue.
Because they deter travelers and are out of sync with many other countries as the pandemic eases, the aviation and tourism sectors are calling on the government to ease the rules for foreign travel.
When they were introduced, Canada’s health controls at airports and border crossings were comparable to those of many other countries, but they were in place for a longer period of time.
Before the start of summer, most European countries relaxed their pre-COVID-19 entry criteria and returned to pre-epidemic standards in an effort to welcome visitors after more than two years of mass illness, quarantine, and stay-at-home orders.
It is not known whether the US will lift the mandatory vaccination requirement at the same time as Canada. Despite the recent announcement that the pandemic is over, US President Joe Biden has indicated that COVID-19 is still a problem.
ArriveCan is a tool used by travelers entering Canada to submit their customs declarations, immunization status, and travel itinerary.
It has been criticized for being overly complicated and for causing the long lines and congestion that plagued numerous Canadian airports this summer. Some users of the app received false information advising them to quarantine.
Nadine Ramadan, the manager of Transportation Minister Omar Alhabra, declined to comment and referred the inquiry to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.
Speaking on behalf of Mr. Mendicino, Audrey Champoux said that while the government is working with businesses to improve “the procedure at the border and make the journey smoother and easier for everyone,” she did not directly address the issue of easing border controls.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, she said, “we have been constantly reviewing health and safety protocols to keep Canadians safe.”
Pierre Poiliver, the new leader of the Conservative Party, campaigned against AriveCan and “leaving vaccine mandates in place” throughout the leadership contest.
According to pollster Nick Nanos, president of Nanos Research, the Liberal administration is trying to remove COVID-19 travel restrictions so that they do not appear harsh.
He said: “That’s what offended people. “Now that more and more people are traveling, they’re realizing how strict and extreme Canada is on these things compared to a lot of other countries.”
Ever since a caravan of anti-vaccination demonstrators took over downtown Ottawa in February, Mr. Poilivere has been a vocal opponent of mandates.
In June, he introduced a private member’s bill that, if successful, would prohibit Ottawa from requiring vaccinations of federal employees and travelers.
According to John Gradek, a former Air Canada executive who now teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, customers will likely still have the choice of using the app to submit travel documents, customs declarations and personal information, or waiting in line to do so.
According to Peter Fitzpatrick, a representative of Air Canada, lifting restrictions at airports will help the aviation industry recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.
According to Mr. Fitzpatrick, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been promoting safe travel based on science.”
“Today, the state of the science supports relaxing such measures.”
The vaccination requirement for domestic and international travelers, federal employees, and personnel in federally regulated industries was suspended on June 20. The government noted a decrease in COVID-19 cases, as well as the fact that 32 million Canadians, or 90% of those who were eligible, had already been vaccinated.
Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in March 2020, more than 6.5 million people have died from it, including more than 45,000 in Canada.
Information from www.theglobeandmail.com