Covid Cases Drop, Canada Eases Overseas Travel Requirements

Covid Cases Drop, Canada Eases Overseas Travel Requirements

Canada will make it easier for international travelers to enter, provided they have been fully vaccinated starting February 28, 2022. Ease of entry requirements to Canada for foreign travelers is at a time when Covid-19 cases in the country are declining.

"Conditions of convenience for foreign travelers by allowing rapid antigen tests for travelers instead of molecular tests," said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Tuesday (16/2/2022).

Ummatimes - Antigen tests are less expensive than molecular tests and can provide results within minutes. The new measures, which include randomized testing for vaccinated travelers entering Canada, were announced by federal government ministers at a briefing.

Canada will monitor conditions with the aim of dropping coronavirus testing requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians who make short trips - less than 72 hours - overseas, usually to the United States.

"This change is possible not only because we have passed the peak of the Omicron, but because Canadians across the country have listened to science and experts," Duclos told reporters.

"About 80 percent of Canadians have been fully vaccinated and more than 40 percent have also taken booster doses," according to the health ministry.

The global travel advisory for Canadians is also being changed. Previously the government recommended against all non-essential travel, and now only appeals to citizens to take precautions.

"While today's announcement brings us one step closer to where our industry needs to be, in mandating rapid pre-departure antigen testing, the government is missing the opportunity to align with other international jurisdictions removing the pre-departure test requirement for fully vaccinated travelers," the group said. Canada's Travel and Tourism Roundtable in a statement.

Suzanne Acton-Gervais, interim president of the National Airlines Council of Canada, said today's announcement by the federal government is a good step forward for travelers to Canada. "Our industry, and for the Canadian economy, depends on trade and tourism," he said.

Several provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and on Monday Ontario, Canada's most populous province, have announced easing of restrictions imposed during the pandemic as coronavirus infection rates fall.

The Ontario government will also accelerate this easing plan, to remove proof-of-vaccination requirements and lift pandemic-related capacity restrictions for businesses. Meanwhile the western province of Alberta ended its mask requirements for schoolchildren on Monday.

Protesters have blocked border crossings and paralyzed downtown Ottawa for weeks calling on the government to lift pandemic restrictions. Provincial prime ministers have denied easing restrictions to appease them, saying they are no longer necessary to contain Covid-19.