Ottawa to make ArriveCAN optional and eliminate other travel measures: reports | Tech US News

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O Trudeau The government is preparing to end pandemic-era travel restrictions by scrapping its mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations at the border and eliminating random testing requirements, according to a Sept. 16 report in the Toronto Star.

An official announcement has not yet been made by the federal government, however the starThe story, which did not cite sources, implies that change is on the horizon as ministers consider moves that could further open up the travel sector.

The story also claims that Ottawa will soon stop being unpopular Arrive CAN application as a mandatory travel requirement.

O Toronto Sunon Sunday (September 18), the confirmation was carried out the starand found that mandatory masking might as well be a rule of the past. If all goes well in the coming weeks.

“A trial balloon was floated by the Trudeau government in the Toronto Star over the weekend it looks like it’s going to fly,” the Sun columnist wrote Brian Lilley.

Speaking to various sources, the columnist said that most of the measures will disappear at the end of September, when the Order of the Council which gives the existing restrictions and requirements expires.

The Canadian government has faced increased criticism from border communities, tourism groups, travel agent advocates and Conservative MPs over its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, which continue to hamper the recovery of Canada’s travel industry.

READ MORE: US lawmakers push Ottawa to scrap ArriveCAN; Feds need better communication, Coates says

The above changes, if lit up in green, would signify that non-vaccinated foreigners would be able to visit Canada again.

In addition, unvaccinated Canadians would no longer face fines of up to $5,000 if they could not demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test or a positive prior infection before entering the country.

These individuals would no longer need to self-quarantine at home for 14 days or be subject to testing upon arrival.

The Trudeau government is also facing lawsuits over ArriveCan, which is at the center of a federal court challenge by the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms on behalf of 11 Canadians, including some were fined up to $8,500 for non-compliance.

There is also talk of ending mandatory random testing for vaccinated travelers, according to reports.

This measure was temporarily suspended on June 11 before being reinstated on July 19.

Travelers pass through Toronto's Pearson Airport.  (Pax Global Media/file photo)

Random testing is now done outside airports to ease congestion at customs and is done via virtual appointments using home testing kits or in person at some participating pharmacies.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), test positivity rates increased from early June to mid-July in unvaccinated travelers (from 3.7 percent to seven percent).

agree with the star, the health agency has not released any figures as all tests have been moved off-site and the data “is subject to quality control checks”.

READ MORE: The court asked to overturn the ArriveCAN app and declare it a violation of Charter rights

The idea of ​​no longer having to upload proof of vaccinations, travel details and quarantine plans to ArriveCAN is likely to please travelers.

Many, including the union representing the guards Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) — Complained over the summer that the app was slowing processing times at understaffed airports.

Since early September, the Canadian government has been promoting the effectiveness of ArriveCAN. It has even introduced updates to the platform, such as the optional “CBSA Advance Statement”. characteristic

But pressure from both the Liberal caucus itself and the Liberal bureaucracy is challenging the government to evolve with the level of threat from COVID-19, forcing officials to reconsider the effectiveness of outdated practices.

With a highly vaccinated population, more treatment options and lower hospitalization rates in Canada, it’s time for a “natural evolution of our policies,” as one source put it. the star

Travel industry leaders probably agree.

CEO of WestJet Alexis von Hoensbroech took to Twitter on Friday to retweet The Staris exclusive, calling the story a “positive sign.”

“Hopefully also include a transition from mandatory masking on planes and make masking recommended but optional as it becomes increasingly unenforceable!” von Hoensbroech wrote, attaching a “thumbs up” emoji to his tweet.


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