The requirements for travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Canadian border should be reconsidered, especially for short visits, according to the country’s top doctor.
In advance of the border with the United States reopening next week, the Canadian Border Services Agency repeated the testing criteria for vaccinated travelers entering Canada on Friday.
But, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer, that policy is being “actively looked at.”
“Just to reassure everyone,” she said at a press conference on Friday, “we are looking into it very thoroughly.”
Currently, anyone crossing into Canada needs to provide a recent, molecular test that shows a negative result for COVID-19.
At a cost of $150 to $300 per test, that can be a pricey proposition, particularly for families
Critics have been especially frustrated with the policy for short trips across the U.S. border, which allows travellers to get tested in Canada before spending up to 72 hours in U.S. and then presenting their negative Canadian test to re-enter the country.
“I’m not sure I understand the rationale for testing travellers who are going to the U.S. for a very short trip,” said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, co-chair of a federal advisory panel on COVID-19 testing and screening.
“Even if we were going to require tests from these travellers, a test taken in Canada, before the trip even starts, would not be helpful.”
Given the virus’s incubation period, it would make more sense to conduct a test a few days after returning to Canada if the traveller is concerned about becoming infected in the United States, he added.
According to Tam, the strategy was meant to decrease transmission on both sides of the border and save people in border villages from having to take a test in the United States on a short trip.
“However, I believe that all of this, like all of the border policies coming forward, has to be re-examined,” she said.
Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Safety, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Source_ cp24.com