“I actually feel pretty optimistic,” said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta Hospital. “I don’t know if I’m planning something for June, but looking at the end of July and August, I would be surprised if we didn’t see an opportunity to travel to your province for sure, and most likely between provinces.« Saxinger said that even if a vaccine rollout is not complete, experience elsewhere suggests that once there is vaccine coverage of 50 to 60% of adults, transmission declines much more. .
“At the moment, it looks pretty promising as the vaccination rate is increasing beautifully right now,” she said.
Dr. Philippe Lagace-Wiens, assistant professor of medical microbiology at the University of Manitoba, agreed that there is “a little light at the end of the tunnel”.
Assuming the vaccine usage is good, he said he “doesn’t see a medical reason why we couldn’t travel from province to province.”
“Especially if you’re willing to call a summer in July and August,” he said. “I think by July the vast majority of people… will have access to vaccines. We are going to see lower rates despite this third wave which has been steadily hanging in Canada for some time.
Provincial travel restrictions
Currently, a number of provinces have placed restrictions within and between provinces for non-essential travel. In British Columbia, for example, travel has been restricted within the province between three regions and residents are asked not to travel outside the province.
Signs are in place at the Alberta-British Columbia border to remind travelers that all travel at this time should be essential.
In Manitoba, residents are asked to limit travel for essential purposes only and anyone returning or entering the province must self-isolate (with some exemptions for essential workers).
In Ontario, residents are told not to travel outside of their region or province. Travel from Manitoba or Quebec to the province is limited, less certain exemptions.
Meanwhile, plans to reopen the Atlantic travel bubble, which allowed unrestricted regional travel between the four provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Île-du- Prince Edward Island – remain on hold due to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 and its emerging variants.
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Still, health experts and politicians have suggested that some of these travel restrictions could be lifted over the next two months.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday restrictions must remain in place until at least 75% of the population receives at least one first vaccine and community transmission is better controlled through testing, tracing and reducing the spread.
CBC’s vaccine tracking system says more than 40% of Canadians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trudeau, he said, maintaining the restrictions throughout May and early June, combined with heavy use of the vaccine, will allow Canadians to enjoy a “slightly better summer.”
British Columbia Premier John Horgan also expressed his optimism, saying a few weeks ago that he hoped “we will be in a place where June, July – and certainly August and September – will be the best months. that we’ve had since the 2020s. ”
Atlantic Premiers have also said they hope the bubble will come back into place by the summer.
“Be much better”
Saxinger said she plans to travel in August to see her family in Ontario.
“In fact, I’m pretty sure things will get a lot better, although it will take a while for the case rate to come down here,” she said. “So I think a lot of the restrictions will start to decrease as the case rates get under control. “
Lagace-Wiens stressed that vaccination is the fastest way to enter summer vacation mode and be able to travel.
“I think the fastest way to get back to a country where we can go to the Rockies and come back without having to isolate ourselves is to get vaccinated. I think that’s the big take home message. “