Fully vaccinated travellers: Canada 'considering' eliminating hotel and 14-day quarantine

Canada's Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, announced Wednesday that the federal government is looking to loosen border restrictions, moving towards changes in early July.

"What is currently being considered as the first step in this approach is to allow fully vaccinated individuals currently permitted to enter Canada to do so without the requirement to stay in government-authorized accommodations," Hajdu said.

"Travellers would have to be fully vaccinated 14 days or more prior to their arrival and they will still be required to have a negative pre-departure PCR test result, and required to be tested upon arrival."

These travellers, Canadians and permanent residents, will also have to have a suitable quarantine plan to wait for the arrival test result.

This will only be possible for people who have received the vaccines authorized in Canada, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Minister Hajdu did not indicate any plans to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors to Canada.

Last month, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel released a reported stating the hotel quarantine measure in Canada is flawed, particularly when some travellers are choosing to pay and others are choosing to enter Canada by land through the U.S. The report also indicates that a three-day hotel quarantine is "inconsistent" with the COVID-19 incubation period.

"The Panel recommends that the requirement for all air travellers to quarantine in government-authorized accommodations be discontinued," the report reads. "However, travellers subject to quarantine must provide a suitable quarantine plan for approval and adhere to this plan. "

"The Panel recommends that the government continue to ensure that those who do not have a suitable quarantine plan be required to adhere to an alternative one (for example, in designated quarantine facilities). The country is in the third wave of COVID-19. This must be taken into consideration when phasing out current border measures such as government-authorized accommodations."