Barbara Barrett, Executive Director of the Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) has spoken out in unison with Canadian border community mayors, along with Member of Parliament Richard Cannings from South Okanagan-West Kootenay, to call on the federal government to eliminate the ArriveCan App and end vaccine requirements for the land border.
It follows the Government of Canada announcement on 14 June that vaccination will no longer be a requirement to board a plane or train in Canada, for domestic and outbound travel as of June 20 (at 00:01 EDT).
Other public health measures, such as wearing a mask, are still required throughout a traveller’s journey on a plane or train.
However, current vaccination requirements at the border will remain in effect. Here, all travellers entering Canada will need to continue following entry requirements, including vaccination.
In addition, vaccination against COVID-19 is still required for passengers and crew on cruise ships.
Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents returning from international destinations who do not qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption are still required to provide a valid pre-entry test result, remain subject to Day 1 and Day 8 molecular testing, and quarantine for 14 days.
Plus, all travellers entering Canada are required to input their mandatory information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada, or they may face molecular testing, quarantine for 14 days, and fines or other enforcement actions, regardless of their vaccination status.
LATEST FROM THE CANADIAN BORDER COMMUNITY
A statement from the Canada and US Border communities released by consortium released by FDFA said that: “The announcement means that unvaccinated Canadians can fly in planes or travel in trains with strangers but cannot cross the border in their own vehicle with their own families.”
“The tourism industry accounts for $105 billion dollars in Canada, and 40,000 jobs are directly related to tourism here in Niagara,” said Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls.
“We supported the federal government restrictions for years because it was the right thing to do. The science is now telling us that these restrictions at the border are no longer serving us.
“The restrictions are no longer helping us.”
As reported, scrapping the need for fully vaccinated travellers to be tested for Covid-19 at the land border was welcomed by the FDFA in March.
However, calls for the next step are growing louder.
“Our border businesses are not being allowed to recover,” said Barrett.
“We are still 50% down from pre-pandemic sales and this is directly related to the ArriveCan App and vaccination requirements at the land border.
“We know that these restrictive measures are hurting Canadian businesses more than they are helping keep Canadians safe.”
“Every border mayor can tell you horror stories about the border and the inconsistencies of the border measures,” added Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia. “It’s arbitrary, we took the required steps at the start of the pandemic, but we’re being punished.”