Niagara border Mayors react to government's first step of opening border

rainbow bridge bonnie

The federal government announced the first step of opening the Canada border today, but some Niagara mayors are expressing disappointment.

The government announced today that fully vaccinated citizens will be exempt from a mandatory two-week quarantine when returning to the country as of July 5th.

Officials say Canadians and permanent residents who are returning to Canada will be have to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in order to qualify.

Those travellers must have two doses of a vaccine approved by Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive.

Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop tells CKTB's Tom McConnell he is disappointed in today's announcement, saying he was expecting more.

"We were expecting something a bit more significant than an easing up for people who are entitled to be here."

Redekop thinks proof of vaccination is the main sticking point to the plan between the two countries.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati says the new rules will be a welcome change for border communities.

He says it also means permanent residents whose applications have been approved since March 18, 2020, will be eligible to enter Canada, however, tourists and those coming for non-essential business will still not be permitted entrance at this time.

The first phase of easing border measures will continue to restrict foreign nationals who want to enter for non-essential reasons.