I had already written my report for this week and my question to you was going to be: “Do you think it is time for the federal government to announce a plan and tell Canadians when federal mandates in areas such as air travel and at the Canada-U.S. border will be revised and updated?” But then some good news arrived.
The federal government suggested it will revise and update some of the current restrictions in federally regulated sectors, specifically when travelling to Canada.
The media reported that as of April 1, the federal government will lift the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement at the border for fully vaccinated travellers. Passengers may still be subject to random PCR testing at airports, and travellers will still have to use the ArriveCAN app to enter their proof of vaccination and other required information.
While this ongoing requirement of using a government app will still post a challenge for those without a smartphone, this is a significant step as it eliminates the current testing requirement that resulted in many travellers—particularly those part of Canada’s tourism sector—avoiding travel to Canada.
For many in the Okanagan tourism industry, who depend on visitors from U.S., the federal restrictions on air travel, as well those as at Canada-U.S. border, have resulted in cancellations and lost business.
Likewise, for some Canadians with family members outside of Canada, there have also been hardships, as many were unwilling to navigate around the ongoing restrictions.
Recently the Global Business Travel Association, along with other groups such as Destination Toronto, called for the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to be removed no later than April 1.
It was also brought to my attention that, for many citizens fleeing Ukraine and attempting to come to Canada, it is more challenging to navigate and comply with Canada’s federal restrictions.
I welcome the federal government announcing these changes. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the ongoing death and destruction in Ukraine and I know many citizens will do everything possible to help accommodate those who may soon be coming to Canada.
Eliminating some of the regulatory challenges to help make that easier is an important step.
My question this week:
Do you agree with the federal government announcing this elimination of the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement?
I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.