U.S.-Canada Border Could Ease Restrictions for Vaccinated Travelers
The federal government could soon announce eased border restrictions for double-dose vaccinated travellers.
Asked about border restrictions, Prime Minister Trudeau said today: “I understand how eager people are to put this pandemic behind us and travel once again. We are looking at how we can ease the [travel and border restriction] rules based on science,” he added. “It’s not enough to just have one dose. We need the two full doses.” Trudeau acknowledged that the first vaccine dose “does confer a lot of protection”, but that two doses is a must for full protection.
Asked about timing, for Canadians making summer travel plans, Trudeau would not commit to any timeline.
But could the announcement come June 21, the next renewal date for the Canada-U.S. border closure? Asked about June 21 specifically, Trudeau later said: “June 21 is the day [the list of restrictions] does get rolled over, or not. When there are announcements to be made you can be sure we’ll be making them.”
Trudeau repeatedly stressed the need for Canadians to get both their doses of vaccine, suggesting that travel is among the incentives for the double dose. “As more people become protected, yes we will be able to ease up on the rules.”
The update comes as Trudeau prepares to attend the G7 Summit in the UK, scheduled for June 11 – 13. U.S. President Biden will be there, along with the other G7 leaders. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already indicated that vaccine passports will be on the G7 Summit agenda.
According to the latest reports, a double dose of the COVID vaccine could mean a shorter quarantine period for travellers entering Canada, although there would still be testing requirements.
Canada’s quarantine for all inbound international travellers, and Canadians returning from international trips, is 14 days. There’s no word yet on the fate of the three-day hotel quarantine requirement. On June 4 the fee for hotel quarantine dodgers increased to $5,000.
With Canada’s vaccination rollout still in high gear, 62% of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose, and 8% of the population has received two doses.