Friday, June 14, 2024

Canada eases travel curbs for vaccinated visitors

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the decision by the government of Canada to further ease border restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers.

Eligible US citizens and permanent US residents arriving from the US will be permitted to enter Canada as of August 9 and foreign nationals arriving from all other countries will be allowed as of September 7. Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and residents have been able to enter Canada without the need for hotel quarantine since July 5, 2021.

“The decision by the government of Canada to gradually allow fully vaccinated foreigners travelers to enter the country is good news on various fronts,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“First and foremost, it restores the freedom of travel, which will be especially welcomed by those who were barred from seeing friends and family. Moreover, airlines can now start reinstating international connectivity.

“This will be a boost for rebuilding the Canadian economy, especially through the contribution of international business and tourism. Nevertheless, we ask the authorities to consider the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization regarding alleviations for those who are unable to get vaccinated,” he added.

According to latest calculations by IATA Economics, reopening Canada’s borders to international travelers will:

•    Allow airlines to begin restoring the estimated 682 routes (domestic and international) which we lost as a result of the pandemic,
•    Begin generating the CAD19 billion ($15 billion) in annual spending by visitors,
•    Support and sustain 432,000 local jobs, and
•    Provide an annual contribution of CAD14 billion to Canada’s GDP.

However a travel ban for passenger and business flights from India and Pakistan was extended until August 21, 2021 due to concerns on rising  cases of COVID-19 variants. Those who travel to Canada from India or Pakistan via an indirect route will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test from their last point of departure, according to Omar Alghabra, Canada’s transport minister.

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