Trudeau: Canada to lift more travel restrictions in coming weeks

Shelby Thevenot
Published: June 23, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that Canada will likely further ease travel restrictions this summer.

In a press conference on June 22, Trudeau said Canada is prepared to lift travel restrictions once more people become fully vaccinated.

"We're talking about weeks and not months anymore," Trudeau said in French. "We certainly hope... that we will have more good news about reopenings in the coming weeks but, of course, it depends on the vaccination rate, the COVID situation in general, the variants of concern and what's happening elsewhere."

As per the announcement on June 21, fully vaccinated exempt travellers may come to Canada without needing to go into quarantine for 14 days. While people who have recovered from COVID and received one dose of the vaccine are considered fully vaccinated in some jurisdictions, such as Quebec, they are not covered under the new measure.

Trudeau said the government was not ready to make that call on Monday, but added that experts are looking into it and he hopes to have more answers in the coming weeks.

So far, the federal government has not said what metrics Canada must hit before the border will be opened for tourism. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told CBC News the federal government wants to see 75 per cent of Canadians fully vaccinated before fully reopening the border. In a previous meeting with Ontario border-town mayors, Blair suggested that could happen by July 21, the date when the current border restrictions expire.

Trudeau did not provide any exact date of when border restrictions would be further scaled back. Rather, he expressed concern about reopening the border too quickly. Cautioning that being fully vaccinated may prevent illness but does not necessarily prevent transmission.

"Nobody wants to see new restrictions brought in [during] the summer because the volumes were too high because we were a little too rushed," Trudeau said.

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