Public Health is assessing how, when Canada can allow fully vaccinated travelers: Tam – fr

Public Health is assessing how, when Canada can allow fully vaccinated travelers: Tam – fr

OTTAWA – Federal health officials are reassessing what needs to happen before Canada can allow fully vaccinated people to enter the country or fully reopen the border international travelers, says Dr. Theresa Tam, director of public health.

Tam was part of the federal officials of Health Canada and Canada Border Services agency at an emergency meeting of the House of Commons health committee on Friday, which focused heavily on when the 14 months border the closure will finally end.

Tam said it was not just about deciding what fully immunized people can do, but also Canada’s pandemic situation, including home immunization coverage, case rates and capacity. hospital, and the fact that there is no standard yet to prove that you are, in fact, fully vaccinated.

“We are very actively reviewing policies around vaccinated travelers or fully vaccinated travel,” she said during the committee’s three-hour hearing.

“I think Canada is probably on a good trajectory in terms of its epidemiology and our own immunization coverage, so I think by the fall we would expect changes in this policy.

She said Canada could, however, continue to require travelers to get tested “given the potential for variants that may have escaped vaccines.”

Canada taxed border restrictions in March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has exploded around the world, and added testing and some quarantine requirements in hotels this winter.

Land travel volumes and border level crossings were only a fraction of normal. Travel was down over 90% last summer from the previous year. As of January 1 of this year, approximately 3.9 million people have arrived in Canada by land or air, compared to 94 million people during the same period in 2019.

Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski, whose riding of Thunder Bay-Rainy River in northwestern Ontario borders the United States border, said thousands of businesses depend on American tourists in the summer.

“If there are no American tourists this year, they will go bankrupt and a lot of people will lose their livelihood,” he said. “I think that’s a reasonable question: when can we expect to know when fully vaccinated people, especially Americans, will be allowed into Canada?”

Tam said it was a reasonable question, and some policy changes are coming.

More than a third of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, and authorities in that country have allowed fully vaccinated people to travel without quarantine.

Canada has yet to lift restrictions on anyone, regardless of vaccination status, and Powlowski has said it is time to do so.

The European Union decided this week to allow fully vaccinated tourists to go there.

Alberta Conservative MP John Barlow called for data showing the impact of quarantine hotels in Canada, which authorities were unable to provide, leaving Barlow frustrated.

“You have no data to tell me that this is slowing down the spread of the virus nor is the quarantine at home, and there is no plan to end the hotel quarantine,” he said. he declared. “So is this just a deterrent to travel?”

Iain Stewart, president of the Public Health Agency of Canada, said PHAC was monitoring travelers’ infection rates very closely. He said the hotel quarantine policy – which the federal government calls “government approved accommodations” – is not just meant to be a deterrent.

He said the policy is actually there to prevent people from arriving in Canada on an airplane and then taking a domestic flight, carrying COVID-19 with them.

“I also mentioned earlier that the number of people arriving at airports is significantly higher and (they are) more likely to be infected than on land. border”Said Stewart. “And these are the motivators behind the government approved accommodations.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 21, 2021.


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