Canada’s travel industry welcomes changes to travel testing requirements
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable has welcomed the announcement made by the American federal government to remove all testing requirements for passengers to the U.S.
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (the Roundtable) welcomes the announcement made by the American federal government to remove all testing requirements for travellers to the U.S. Similarly, the Roundtable welcomes the step taken by the Canadian government to temporarily suspend mandatory arrivals testing for vaccinated travellers to assist with current congestion at airports, but continues to call on the Canadian government to permanently remove all arrival testing and other remaining COVID-19 restrictions.
The announcements mark an important milestone for the North American travel and tourism industry as it attempts to rebuild following more than two years of restrictions and shutdowns.
Notwithstanding the announcements, there is still significant work to do to alleviate unnecessary pressures on the travel sector and passenger experience. This includes immediately lifting the outdated vaccine mandates for passengers and federally regulated aviation workers and removing the duplicative health checks at Canada’s airports. While this announcement in Canada will remove some testing, there will remain congestion issues as all passengers’ vaccination status will continue to be determined at the border, with unvaccinated travellers still required to undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival through June 2022.
Canada’s outdated rules are causing unacceptable delays at the country’s major airports, keeping international visitors away and souring Canada’s reputation on the world stage. Domestically, Canada’s travel rules are hurting small businesses, unfairly impacting families looking to enjoy the summer travel season and forcing the cancellation of conferences and events that help power local economies.
“Unfairly targeting travel and tourism is a relic from the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical experts have been clear; Canada’s current border policies are outdated and no longer helping keep COVID-19 out of Canada. While today’s announcement marks an important step in the right direction, there is still work to do,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of Canada’s Chamber of Commerce.
To that end, the Roundtable calls on the federal government to immediately:
- Remove vaccination mandates for passengers and federally regulated aviation workers
- Remove the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) duplicate health checks and questions through ArriveCAN at government checkpoints
- Remove manual selection processes for testing from CBSA and within airports
- Establish clear service standards for security and customs processing of passengers travelling through Canadian airports.
Canadians are ready to travel abroad, and international travellers are ready to travel to Canada. As demand for travel returns and other global economies re-open, Canada’s border policies and resources must reflect the new reality.