New Travel Rules May Be Announced Today

Current border restrictions and the closure of Canada’s border with the U.S. are set to expire on Wednesday, 21JUL.

But based on news buried at the end of a readout of a call between the Prime Minister and Canada’s Premiers late last week, and an announcement of a press conference this afternoon that “Ministers and Government of Canada officials to provide an update on border measures due to COVID-19” we could be hearing even today if the current blanket restriction on non-essential travel will be lifted – and exactly when.

Prime Minister Trudeau pointed towards a mid-AUG deadline for when fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed across the border.

“The prime minister noted that, if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue, Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September,” the call readout says.

It also notes that ministers would share more details on these plans early [this] week. Given today is Monday, we can expect some information by the end of Tuesday at the latest prior to any extension of restrictions and closures on Wednesday.

The government’s statements are in line with public opinion surveys showing increasing support from Canadians for reopening the US border.

The ministers also discussed working on some sort of vaccine credential system to “enable Canadians to travel internationally with confidence.” Although passports are under federal jurisdiction, health – and health records – are provincial, and therefore any type of ‘vaccine passport’ would require collaboration between both levels of government.

The travel industry seemed encouraged by the Prime Minister’s comments. Jim McNaney, president and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada, issued a statement about the comments:

“Though the Prime Minister’s comments provide a general timeframe, we are very close to losing the entire summer travel season. We look forward to urgent engagement with the federal government over the coming days and the release of a detailed action plan,” he said, echoing other industry leaders.

US border
Canada-U.S. border, currently closed.

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