The federal government will have more to say on the easing of border restrictions in the “coming days,” says Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Minister LeBlanc said it will be a topic of discussion at tonight’s meeting with premiers, but that they are approaching the issue with caution as COVID-19 variants of concern still linger.
“We’ll have more to say about specific measures over the coming days and weeks but we think it’s important to remind Canadians that there are still some significant challenges with COVID-19. Vaccinations are by far the best protection that people can have,” he said.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo added that the vaccination rate in Canada is a key metric in deciding when to loosen restrictions.
“The more protected we are as an entire population, the more resilient we would be in terms of any potential of what we call an important of cases,” he said. “Of course, the wild card that everyone’s well aware of is the variants.”
The Canadian border remains closed to most foreign nationals until at least July 21, with the exception of immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens, persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent residents; a traveller authorized to enter for compassionate reasons; an individual participating in an international single-sport event; essential workers; and some international students.
Some travel requirements were lifted on July 5, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians to forgo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Asked whether the government may reconsider the 14-day quarantine period for partially or non-vaccinated Canadians, Dr. Njoo said they are considering all available evidence about the period of infectiousness following potential exposure of the virus.
“We are risk managing it, we’re looking at what is reasonable from a policy perspective,” he said.
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