Time For Some Guidance

As the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister head to the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom at the end of this week, the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable wants the federal government to provide clear, timely, and safe guidance on reopening Canada for travel.

Acknowledging that the government’s decision to remove the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadians and reduce quarantine upon the results of an arrivals test as an important first step in the right direction, the roundtable — a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – made it clear that additional policy changes are needed to support the recovery of the industry.

In fact, it noted that with the G7 summit expected to begin international discussions around a global vaccination passport, Canada remains an outlier among its G7 peers, having yet to announce a comprehensive reopening plan.

The Roundtable is urging the federal government to release an implementation plan based on the recommendations made in the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel report, presented to the federal government last month.

Canadians are doing their part in getting vaccinated; now it is time for the federal government to provide clear, timely, and safe guidance on reopening Canada for travel.

It pointed out that although today’s announcement addresses quarantine measures for fully vaccinated Canadian, it does not address border measures, quarantine restrictions for partially vaccinated Canadians and fully vaccinated foreign nationals, and ongoing testing requirements.

Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said that: “Today Canadians were provided some clarity around travel for fully vaccinated Canadians. This is an important first step in the right direction. I urge the government to use the G7 as a platform to announce a comprehensive reopening strategy that will bring Canada in line with most of the other G7 countries rather than a series of piecemeal announcements.”

Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, pointed out that: “With vaccinations rising and case numbers going down, we must pivot to forward-thinking policies, rooted in science, and begin looking at things like reopening the border. A holistic Canada wide plan is needed to provide certainty to Canadian businesses and employees in the sector. We are seeing provinces fill in the gaps that have been created by the absence of a federal reopening plan and this will create confusion for travellers.”