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'Unfair': Canadians react to new exemption for fully vaccinated travellers

Children will still need to quarantine
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While many Canadians feel relieved that fully vaccinated travellers can reenter the country without quarantining, others say the restrictions are unfair.

How do you feel about Canada's new travel rules?

On Monday (June 21), the federal government announced that Canada would lift the quarantine restriction for vaccinated travellers returning to the country. Travellers who are permitted to enter Canada also don't have to take a COVID-19 test on day-8. 

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.

But fully vaccinated travellers need to keep several things in mind before they reenter the country. 

Not only must fully vaccinated travellers carry a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation, but they must also provide COVID-19-related information electronically through the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival in Canada.

These travellers must still present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine.

But how do Canadians feel about the new restrictions?

While many Canadians feel relieved that they have an option to reenter the country without quarantining, others say the new restrictions are unfair. For one, not everyone is fully vaccinated or will be by July 5 — and it isn't for lack of trying. 

To date, B.C. health officials have administered 4,296,151 doses of vaccine to 3,472,780 people, with 823,371 of those getting needed second doses. 

Vaccination rates continue to increase in the province for people aged 12 and older, but anyone with children aged 11 and younger will need to quarantine their unvaccinated children on arrival for 14 days. However, they may skip the three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. 

Other people have pointed out that Canadians abroad may have received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine. However, the Canadian government only recognizes the Health Canada-approved vaccines, although other ones have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Metro Vancouver resident Jenn McCash responded to a call out in Vancouver Is Awesome's Wander BC newsletter. She said the new travel restrictions are a "joke." 

"If the government wants to promote vaccinations, then fully vaccinated people should be able to move freely without tests….Canadian and American alike," she wrote. "What they have done is only allowing Canadians abroad to come home or visit. 

"We have a place 45 minutes on the other side of the border and are unable to check on it for 15 months!  We did not leave it thinking we would be essentially abandoning it.  Our pipes may have burst over the winter as we couldn’t shut it down properly, food is likely spoiled and smelling, who knows what the mice have been up to…" 

Here is what Canadians have to say about the new restrictions.

 

With a file from Glen Korstrom / Business In Vancouver.