The Trudeau government will announce Monday that restrictions on the Canada-U.S. Border will be relaxed for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. But Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has said the “finish line” will not be reached until many, many more Canadians are fully immunized.
Appearing on CBC-TV’s Rosemary Barton Live, Blair said the revisions announced Monday will be limited to a few measures and non-essential travel is still discouraged by the federal government.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said restrictions could start to be relaxed once 75% of Canadian adults receive only one vaccine and 20% both doses. This objective was achieved and then exceeded this weekend. But Blair said on Sunday that the “finish line” will not be reached until 75% of Canadians eligible for a vaccine are fully immunized.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has said major restrictions, such as limits to higher education and indoor sports, could be safely lifted once the double-dose 75% figure is reached. . Blair said today that “changes (at the border) are possible” when Canada hits that three-quarters full vaccination figure, but he did not provide any details.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu recently said that perhaps as early as July Canada could relax the rules and allow fully vaccinated Canadians to return home without having to quarantine themselves for 14 days and without having to pay for a three-day stay at the hotel. Instead, she said, the government could allow Canadians with two doses of the vaccine to be tested upon arrival in Canada, and then quarantine themselves at home until the results of the vaccine. their tests are coming back. It normally only takes a day or two.
Blair today that Monday’s announcement will include “changes regarding government-assisted hotels, possibly an implication on who would be quarantined, what it means to be a fully vaccinated traveler, and what changes may now be suitable for people who are, in fact, fully vaccinated. “
Blair announced Friday that the Canada-U.S. Border will remain closed to all but essential traffic until July 21.
Critics on both sides of the border blasted Blair for the decision. A US congressman said the ad was “bullshit” while the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario called it a “hammer blow” to tourism businesses in the province.
Over the weekend, a US congressman urged US President Joe Biden to unilaterally open the US border to Canadians. But the US Department of Homeland Security said on Sunday that the US land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21.