Ottawa residents look ahead to travelling as Feds aim to end hotel stay

Fully-vaccinated Canadians will be able to travel outside of the country without having to self-isolate for 14 days, or having to stay in a quarantine hotel upon arrival, starting as early as July.

For people like Cory Oliveria that is music to his ears. He has not been able to visit family in the United States for almost two years.

“I think it’s great now that they’re looking to do that if people that are fully vaccinated, I mean that’s the whole point of the vaccine. You become fully vaccinated you get to travel,” Oliveria said.

“I’d love to just go down and see some family.”

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced the first step in a “phased” easing of the federal government’s pandemic border measures on Wednesday, more than a year after Canada restricted non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These metrics are very important factors as we move towards implementing the changes on the border that we hope to have in place in early July,” Hajdu said. “If we can keep our communities safe and free of COVID, then we will not have to return to measures that are so difficult for everyone.”

According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases has dropped below 1,800 for the first time since the fall of 2020.

Travellers who have completed their vaccination regime at least 14 days prior to their arrival in Canada will be who the government consider fully vaccinated.

Eligible travellers will be those who received a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use in Canada, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Travellers will still have to show a negative pre-departure PCR test, and will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arriving in Canada. Once in Canada, returning travellers will still need self-isolate until their most recent test result comes back negative.

Lauren Van Luit says she is in favour of the new rules, she believes they will keep travellers and Canadians safe once hotel quarantines are a thing of the past.

“I think it’s fine because it’s a necessary precaution we have to take so that everyone can travel eventually,” Van Luit said.

“I’ll only be going to places I feel safe.”

The easing of restrictions will apply to any Canadian citizens or permanent residents, international students and other essential travelers who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. It remains to be clarified how these changes will be applied to fully-vaccinated families travelling with unvaccinated children.

With files from CTV News