OTTAWA — The federal government will extend current public health measures related to COVID-19 for travelers entering Canada, including the use of the ArriveCan app, until at least September 30.
In a statement Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada also said it would continue pausing mandatory random testing for fully vaccinated travelers at all airports until mid-July.
It first announced the pause on June 11 and said in the statement it was allowing airports to focus on streamlining their operations.
The public health agency said it was moving forward with plans to move COVID-19 testing for air travelers away from airports to select test provider stores, pharmacies or by appointment. virtual.
Mandatory random testing is to continue at land border entry points without change.
The statement adds that travelers who are not fully vaccinated and do not have a valid exemption should continue testing on days 1 and 8 of their 14-day quarantine.
“As we enter the next phase of our response to COVID-19, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. We must continue to do everything we can to protect ourselves and others from the virus,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.
He also urged people to stay up to date with recommended vaccinations to ensure they are properly protected against infection, transmission and serious complications.
“As we have always said, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence.
All travelers will be required to continue to use the ArriveCan app or website to provide their travel information within 72 hours of arriving in Canada or before boarding a cruise ship bound for the country. The government said 95% of land and air travelers use the app and it is taking steps to improve compliance.
The government has also said moving testing away from airports will allow Canada to adapt to increased traveler numbers while being able to monitor and respond quickly to new variations of concern or changes in the situation. epidemiological.
He said border testing has been critical in helping Canada slow the spread of the virus, as test data is used to understand the current level and trends of COVID-19 importation into the country.
The testing program also detects and identifies concerning new variants of COVID-19, he added.
Tourism groups and mayors and MPs from border communities have called on the government to ease restrictions and scrap the ArriveCan app, saying the measures limit cross-border travel.
Transport Minister Randy Boissonnault said the government is deeply invested in growing Canada’s visitor economy.
“From our reputation as a safe travel destination to our world-class attractions and wide open spaces, Canada has it all and we are ready to welcome domestic and international tourists back, while prioritizing their safety and well-being. be.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 29, 2022.
The Canadian Press