Confusion, frustration as Canadians respond to COVID-19 travel restrictions for unvaccinated children – .

Confusion, frustration as Canadians respond to COVID-19 travel restrictions for unvaccinated children – .

TORONTO – The federal government this week announced its first phase of lifting restrictions on international travel, with new guidelines that allow fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and some foreign nationals to avoid staying in quarantine hotels mandatory and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

The easing of travel restrictions will take effect on July 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, along with new rules stating that unvaccinated children traveling with fully vaccinated parents will not be required to stay in a hotel, but will be required to follow the requirements of test and depending on their age, isolate for 14 days after arrival in Canada.

Officials said in their announcement on Monday that parents will be able to leave the home while their children are in isolation, and Health Minister Patty Hadju said the new rules would “no doubt” be difficult for families who wish. travel.

In a brief statement emailed to CTV National News, the Public Health Agency of Canada clarified that “people who cannot receive the vaccine, due to their eligibility (age) or other health reasons (medical history), may still be infected with COVID-19 and, therefore, still pose a risk of transmitting the virus and its variants to others. As a result, those who currently cannot be fully immunized will need to pass the eighth-day test (if they are over five years old) and a full 14-day quarantine. “

Reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with some expressing frustration and anger over the rules regarding unvaccinated children traveling with their families.

Sean Gilfillan, of Sturgeon County, Alta., Told CTV News Edmonton that when he heard the news of the relaxation of travel restrictions in Canada on Monday, he immediately booked a trip to New York for himself and his family. wife in September – but without her children.

“We probably would have 100% booked something like Mexico, California, Disneyland, something like that, if we were confident that we could bring the kids back without isolation,” he said.

Likewise, Mark Kay, his wife and children of St. Albert, Alta., Chose to book a trip to California in January, hoping the rules for children have been relaxed – telling CTV News Edmonton they were ready to cancel if necessary.

“I understand the restrictions, it’s just disappointing,” Kay told CTV News Edmonton. “How can you sit a five and ten year old inside and say, ‘You have to stay here for eight more days because we’ve been to San Diego?’ “

“This is ridiculous,” teacher Emma Ryan said in Toronto, Ont., On Wednesday in an interview with “This system doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, sure, test children with a swab, but if their parents don’t have to self-isolate, neither do children. What are parents supposed to do, leave their child at home?

Ryan said she understood the situation at the border was “fluid” but questioned the “common sense” aspect of the new restrictions.

Toronto lawyer Yael Bogler, who has two children under the age of four who cannot yet be vaccinated, said in a telephone interview with Wednesday that she felt “frustrated and a little confused” by the ad.

“Despite the fact that we are vaccinated, there are not yet clear guidelines on what we can and cannot do, and that includes something like traveling,” she said. “I mean, you can travel, but quarantine for two weeks is very difficult. “

Bogler said she understands that traveling “comes from a place of privilege,” but when it comes to family matters, they “continue to miss these important milestones in the lives of our respective families,” adding that she only met her new nephew via FaceTime and her grandparents have also been inaccessible abroad for a year and a half.

For now, Bogler has said she and her family plan to stay home, as quarantining two children for two weeks is “a huge obstacle” to work and school.

“We’re all very excited about the vaccine status and the way things are going in Canada, and the outlook is positive,” she continued. “But there is a whole segment of the population that just won’t get vaccinated yet, the under 12s I’m talking about, and so our lives don’t necessarily get back to normal that quickly. “


Pfizer and Moderna have both started clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as six months old, with Pfizer expecting first results in July and full results in September, heralding good news according to infectious disease specialist Dr Abdu. Sharkawy.

“I would expect that if we had complete data by early fall, September and October, it is quite conceivable that we could start immunizing our children by the end of 2021. Sharkawy said on CTV News Channel Wednesday. “So around December, I think it’s very likely that Health Canada will have approved these vaccines for children under 12. “

Sharkawy explained that in the quest to make a vaccine safe for children, it comes down to dosage and timing.

“Remember that the immune system of children, especially very young children, infants under two years old, is quite different, for example, from those who are around 11 or 12 years old,” he said. declared. “So you want to find that sweet spot in terms of the schedule that makes the most sense… whether you were going with something that would be four weeks, then the adults, maybe you’re going to go with eight weeks.” in younger children. “

Sharkawy also offered a few words of encouragement to parents who might be reluctant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

“I also want to point out very clearly for people who are worried and say that this is an experimental vaccine in children … I would say that there has never been, I repeat, there has been no there has never been a vaccine that has been approved and is used for a disease that affects people of all ages, which has been found to be safe in adults and not in children, ”he said.

“My three kids are under 12,” Sharkawy continued. “The three of them are going to be vaccinated. “

With files from Jay Rosove and Dan Grummet of CTV News Edmonton


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