Lay out an implementation plan based on the recommendations by the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel report and do it now.
That’s pretty much the message that the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable has for the federal government, and pointing out in the process that Canadians are doing their part in getting vaccinated so it’s now time to provide clear, timely, and safe guidance on reopening travel and reuniting families and friends.
The Expert Panel recommends eliminating quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers, implementing changes to testing and screening, and eliminating the hotel quarantine policy.
And with increasing vaccination rates and decreasing case counts, the Roundtable says it’s time for the federal government to announce a plan to implement the recommendations of the Expert Panel.
In fact, the Roundtable points ou that just as it was important to quickly put in place measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians at the start of the pandemic, it is of equal importance to remove restrictions that are no longer necessary.
Plus, the Roundtable states that given the advances in science and safety, as well as the dramatic progress on vaccination in Canada, the safe restart of travel must be planned.
It also points out that many provincial governments have taken a scientific approach to reopening based on metrics, including vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity. As our economy begins to reopen, based on these metrics, one important catalyst for our recovery will be travel.
The Roundtable is also encouraging the government to implement a vaccination certification process in line with global standards, pointing out that the upcoming G7 discussions present an opportunity for Canada to work with the international community toward a common approach.
Along with indicating its willingness to work with the government to improve safety standards and protocols, it also encouraged it to heed the advice of experts to:
- Eliminate the government hotel quarantine for all travellers;
- Eliminate pre-departure tests and quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers;
- Reduce quarantine for partially vaccinated travellers (after a test upon arrival) and unvaccinated travellers (after a test taken at day 7);
- Amend border measures in stages; and,
- Put in place a system to validate proof of vaccination for arriving travellers as soon as possible.