Canada Eases Border Rules But Draws Airline Chief’s Condemnation

The Canadian government will loosen Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people amid warnings that a return to a completely open border will take awhile longer, Bloomberg News reported. Canadian citizens and residents who’ve received two shots will be exempt from a 14-day quarantine on arrival to the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government said in a statement Monday. Travelers will still need to show they’ve tested negative for Covid-19 before they cross into Canada and take a second test at the border. Those arriving by air, who are currently expected to do the first three days of their quarantine in a hotel, will be exempt from that requirement. The changes -- effective July 5 -- are a first, incremental step toward easing restrictions as the government faces mounting impatience to permit more freedom of movement between the U.S. and Canada. A fuller reopening that allows tourist travel to resume won’t happen until 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, Trudeau’s border chief said on Sunday. The government’s cautious approach drew condemnation from the head of the global airline lobby group. “I don’t understand Canada,” Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association, said Monday during an interview in Paris. “This isn’t only about holidays, these are business decisions. Future decisions will be made on people’s experiences and my experience of Canada is very poor,” Walsh said. IATA is based in Montreal, and he said he can’t visit its headquarters. The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to most travel since March 2020. On Friday, the governments extended restrictions on non-essential trips until at least July 21. “We haven’t reached the finish line, and the finish line is when a significant majority of Canadians, approximately 75%, are fully vaccinated,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Sunday. At present, less than a fifth of Canadians have received two shots, according to data compiled by CTV News. Read more.