Friday could be a red-letter day for the Canadian travel industry, regarding border restrictions.
After, as Open Jaw reported, PM Justin Trudeau revealed the federal government is taking steps towards a phased border reopening beginning with vaccinated travellers,
The Toronto Star now reports an announcement of changes to border restrictions could happen “as soon as Friday.”
That would be a full 10 days before the border restrictions between Canada and the U.S. are set to expire on 21JUN.
Trudeau’s remarks at the beginning of the week cautioned against a hasty reopening that could trigger a so-called ‘Fourth Wave’ of the pandemic in the country.
The Minister of Health’s expert advisory panel had released a report last month advising that travellers arriving by land or air be treated the same, and that different categories of arrivals, fully or partially vaccinated, those who are already immune or those who have negative tests all be treated differently when it comes to restrictions imposed at the border.
On the other side of the border, more hints this week that changes could be afoot, with the U.S. State Department upgrading its travel advisory for Canada from “do not travel” to “reconsider your travel.”
“We would make a decision about the Canada border based on the guidance of our health and medical experts,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “I’m sure that when that decision is made, we would communicate through diplomatic channels, but I don’t have anything to predict about the timeline.”
Less than 10 per cent of Canadians are currently fully vaccinated, compared to four times as many Americans.
As has often been reported during discussions of the border reopening, a system of vaccination verification would need to be implemented and so far, no ‘vaccine passport’ program has officially been put in place on either side of the border.