It’s been weeks since the CDC in the U.S. issued guidance saying that vaccinated Americans could safely travel. Europe has also announced it will welcome vaccinated visitors to its shores.
But just as Canadian vaccine rollout rates continue to lag behind other developed nations’, so does its guidance to the (slowly) growing numbers of Canadians who have received their first – or even second – doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On CTV’s Question Period on the weekend, Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu sidestepped questions about why Canada “has yet to offer any formal guidance to people who have been vaccinated about what degree of risk they have in certain circumstances in the way the United States has.”
The program pointed out that vaccinated Americans have been given the green light to travel domestically without the need for testing, and travel internationally with no requirement to self-isolate upon return. Our neighbours to the south have also been advised they can forgo masks and distancing indoors with other fully vaccinated people – and omit masks outdoors altogether except in crowded settings.
“We will have guidance out shortly for Canadians. And it’s very important that we all continue to follow… public health measures until we are certain that our communities are safe,” Hajdu said.
“It’s the percentage of Canadians that are vaccinated, and it’s the extent of disease that’s being transmitted in communities. We will have guidance out for Canadians very shortly about what they can do with one dose or two doses of the vaccine,” she told the host of the program.
The long-awaited guidance affects every part of Canadians’ lives – and, key for the travel industry – would affect the resumption of domestic travel as well as potentially provide criteria and a timeline for the re-opening of borders and the ability to travel internationally without facing quarantines upon return to Canada.