Canadians not in a rush to reopen border

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: May 31, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government started planning for the Canada-U.S. border to reopen, but Canadians are in no hurry.

Over three quarters of Canadians also agree that whenever the border reopens, travellers to Canada should show proof of vaccination.

This is according to a poll conducted by Angus Reid Institute.

The poll also showed that less than a quarter of respondents would have wanted the border to be reopened already.

This means that most Canadians are still concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19.

Canada introduced travel restrictions in March 2020 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The border with the U.S. has been closed to all non-essential travel since.

The travel restrictions with the U.S. and the rest of the world would be extended every month. Last week, Canada extended travel restrictions until at least June 21.

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Canada's vaccination campaign going well

Trudeau said in a press briefing on May 25 that over half of Canada's population received the first dose of the COVID-19 virus.

He has previously suggested that the border will reopen when at least 75 per cent of Canadians are vaccinated.

Many provinces, including Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, are planning for a steady reopening.

“There are lots of reasons to be hopeful but that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down yet,” he said.

Canada's accelerating vaccine campaign is a main reason for why the government is receiving calls for reopening the border.

Who can travel to Canada in the meantime?

Until the border reopens, only certain people are allowed to come to Canada. Those include Canadian citizens and permanent residents and their family members.

International students attending a learning institution that has a COVID-19 readiness plan can also come to Canada, as well as some temporary foreign workers.

Protected persons and people come to Canada for compassionate reasons are also exempt from the current travel restrictions in place. For a full list of exemptions, visit this government webpage.

It is important to mention that Canadian border services officers have the final say on who is allowed into the country.

What do travellers need to know?

Restrictions are currently in place until June 21. Exempt travellers who wish to come to Canada before the restrictions are lifted need to follow certain procedures.

They will be required to show a COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of travelling to Canada. Air travellers also need to take another COVID-19 test on arrival, and quarantine in a government-approved hotel while they wait for their results.

Travellers still need to complete their 14-day quarantine requirement. The three-day hotel stay can count towards your quarantine period. On day eight, you will need to take a third COVID-19 test.

Those travelling to Canada for an essential reason do not need to quarantine. This includes emergency service providers, truck drivers, and those who live in a trans-border community who regularly cross the border for work.

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