Trudeau supports ending border vaccination requirement
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to allow the order in council imposing COVID-19 vaccination requirements at the Canadian border to expire on September 30.
The news was confirmed by two senior government sources, who spoke to The Canadian Press on the condition that they not be named, as they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The change will also have the effect of ending mandatory testing for unvaccinated international travelers as well as random testing for those who are vaccinated.
The federal government has not yet made a decision on the obligation for passengers to wear a mask on trains and planes.
“If there is a change, we will communicate with everyone,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said after a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues at the end of day Thursday.
His fellow Ministers of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, and Transport, Omar Alghabra, also did not want to tell journalists what fate awaits the requirements incumbent on travelers arriving in Canada, renewed this summer and in force until to September 30.
At this time, tourists must be properly vaccinated to enter Canada. All travelers must install the ArriveCan app and enter their personal information there, in addition to risking being selected for a random test upon arrival.
Several media reported that the federal government was about to announce the lifting of some of these measures. Ministers had indicated earlier this week that a decision had to be taken in cabinet on whether or not these measures should be renewed. Delayed by the Prime Minister’s trip to the UN, their first group meeting took place at the end of the day on Thursday.
The Conservative Party of Canada has sharply criticized the mandatory ArriveCan application, which gave some travelers who were victims of one of the bugs in the software a cold sweat. The official opposition in Ottawa argues that this form has had the effect of « stifling the economy » and causing long delays at the airport, which the government denies.
Canada’s Tourism Minister, Randy Boissonault, said Thursday that the government intends to maintain some form of « digitalization of the border », such as ArriveCan, to facilitate the entry of tourists. Canada’s goal is to increase the number of visitors to the country from 22 million to 30 million tourists per year.
« As I’ve always said, I want borders where there is the least possible friction, » said the Minister. I know that if we can relax these measures, it will facilitate the recovery of the economy. »
The United States has required proof of COVID-19 vaccination since October 2021 for all visitors entering its territory, with the exception of American citizens or immigrants. So far, the two countries have made an effort to harmonize their border measures, but it is not clear whether the relaxation of measures will follow this rule.
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