The federal government says fully vaccinated Canadian travellers won’t need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arriving home by early July as long as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said they are aiming for the measures to change in the first week of July as long as vaccinations increase and COVID-19 metrics decrease.
An exact date was not given and Hadju said they are currently working with border services and other agencies to ensure Canada does not jeopardize any of the progress already made on the pandemic.
“I will be watching carefully here in Canada and around the world as cases change and as vaccination rates rise,” said Hajdu. “These metrics are very important factors.”
Those who are fully vaccinated and eligible to enter Canada, meaning Canadians, permanent residents and essential workers, will still have to provide a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 test.
They will also be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada and remain in quarantine until that test comes back negative. The traveller will also not have to spend their isolation in a government-authorized hotels.
Fully vaccinated means two doses of a vaccine and two weeks since the second dose when you have reached the full immunity from the two doses.
Hajdu said they have not approached changing the “right of entry” rules at this time.
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc said Canada is developing a national vaccine passport and is engaged in discussions with the European Union and the United States, but it likely won’t be ready by early July.
LeBlanc said border agents will have temporary measures to ensure they will be ready for the relaxation of rules for Canadian travellers.
Several Conservative party MPs said the Liberal government had failed to end its “unscientific and unsafe” quarantine hotel program, which still remains in effect for many travellers.
“What the Trudeau Liberals announced today does not give Canadians clarity on a path forward,” they said.
Business groups welcomed the proposed change but said it didn’t go far enough. Major airlines and airports said Canada still needed a “clear restart plan” for international travel, while the Canadian Chamber of Commerce urged quick action on digital vaccine certification.