Updates to Canadian Travel and Tourism Policy Represent a Small First Step, Canada Urgently Needs a Comprehensive Plan to Reopen the Industry

·2 min read

OTTAWA, ON, June 21, 2021 /CNW/ - The Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable (The Roundtable) acknowledges the federal government's decision to lift some quarantine restrictions for Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated, starting July 5. Although this is an improvement on the current restrictive measures, these changes represent a small first step. Canada urgently needs a proper plan and a policy on travel that is based on science, is in line with what other countries are doing, and one agnostic on nationality.

Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable Logo (CNW Group/Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable)
Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable Logo (CNW Group/Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable)

Canadians expected more

Today's announcement fails to tell Canadians what they can look forward to as the vaccination effort continues. Canadians and Canadian businesses have been left in the dark. The federal government failed to provide a comprehensive re-opening plan for international and domestic travel, particularly around fully vaccinated foreign nationals visiting Canada in line with their own Expert Panel recommendations. Without question, fully vaccinated travellers should be welcome to come and go, without quarantine or restriction. COVID-19 doesn't recognize your passport, but it recognizes your vaccine. Nationality has nothing to do with it.

Canadian businesses that rely on international travellers are being unfairly harmed

Today's government announcement does nothing to aid and improve the Canadian travel and tourism industry. Canadian hospitality businesses rely on international travellers. By allowing Canadians to travel internationally while prohibiting fully vaccinated foreign travellers from entering Canada, the government is significantly disadvantaging Canadian businesses that, after a year and a half of a pandemic, need a successful summer travel season to survive.

Canadian families with young children have been left behind

Upon arrival to Canada, unvaccinated children will be forced to quarantine for 14-days, even if their parents are fully vaccinated. This policy is almost unprecedented and doesn't reflect what Canada's international partners are doing in Europe, the UK, and the US. In Canada, children under 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated. As a result of the mandatory quarantine for children, Canadian families with children have been effectively and unfairly prohibited from international travel this summer. Today's announcement opened international travel for a fortunate few, principally establishing a two-tiered system benefitting business travel and those without young children.

The absurdity of Canada's current travel restrictions

Right now in Ontario, it is easier to travel to Rome than it is to drive to Rochester. If you live in Quebec, is easier to fly to Paris than drive to Vermont.

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. Our people, our communities, and our economy depend on it.

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

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