Fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents can soon skip hotel stay: Hajdu
Minister says government is looking to ease restrictions in stages, starting early next month
The federal government says fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border into Canada will soon no longer be required to stay at a hotel for part of their quarantine period.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is hoping to ease some restrictions in stages, starting in early July.
She said those fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will still have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and have an isolation plan until their test comes back negative.
This relaxation of the rules applies only to those who have obtained both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada. It does not apply to tourists.
The plan depends on case counts, said Hajdu.
"We'll be watching carefully here in Canada and around the world as cases change and as vaccination rates rise," she said.
WATCH: Ottawa announces relaxation of travel quarantine rules:
Sources — who are not being named by CBC because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the issue — said that more details about lifting restrictions for the wider population are still pending.
On Feb. 22, the federal government started requiring all air travellers returning from non-essential trips abroad to isolate in federally mandated facilities for up to 72 hours while they await the results of polymerase chain reaction tests — commonly known as PCR tests — for COVID-19.
People arriving at land borders are required to take COVID-19 tests when they enter the country and again during their 14-day isolation period.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, accused the government of presenting a half-baked plan to lift border restrictions that gives Canadians no "clarity on a path forward."
"The Liberals announced no dates, no metrics, and presented no plan," said a party media statement. "It's clear the government is not following the science and not listening to its own experts.
"Canadians deserve better than this. They deserve a government that will put forward benchmarks for safely lifting COVID-19 restrictions within areas of federal jurisdiction, and give Canadians hope that we will return to normal.
"Canada's Conservatives continue to call on Justin Trudeau to immediately scrap his unscientific and unsafe quarantine hotel program. Canadians can't afford more pandemic mismanagement from Justin Trudeau."
With files from Katie Simpson