Tourism Reps Say Canada is “Left Behind” Without a Reopening Plan

The Canadian federal government has not yet announced a reopening plan for the Canada-U.S. border – or any type of travel-related reopening plan, for that matter. But business leaders are putting pressure on the federal government to create a comprehensive plan for the reopening of the economy and international borders.

The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (CTTR) called on the federal government to release the plan as soon as possible. The CTTR is a group of industry representatives who are calling on all levels of government to ensure safe and accessible travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the G7 Summit this month to meet with other world leaders and discuss the future of global travel. Trudeau spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border, but nothing firm was released, reports Forbes.

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until at least July 21.

Additionally, Canada is the only country to emerge from the G7 summit without a comprehensive reopening plan.

Representatives from the travel industry hope the federal government will move quickly to create a plan.

“Canada cannot afford to be left behind as other countries around the world begin to reopen,” said Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, in a media release. “Without a clear plan in place, our vibrant tourism industry is at risk and people’s livelihoods are in jeopardy. Fully vaccinated travellers should be afforded the same opportunities, regardless of their nationalities.”

Specifically, the CTTR wants Canada to release a single national policy to clarify Canada’s stance on vaccination certification, the international border, and unvaccinated children.

“The Canadian travel and tourism industry — and the Canada-U.S. border — has been effectively closed since March 2020. A holistic Canada-wide plan is needed to provide certainty to businesses and Canadians,” said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “We are seeing provinces fill in the gaps that have been created by the absence of a federal reopening plan and this will create confusion for travellers.”

More information about the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border is expected to be revealed soon.

In the meantime, Canada recently announced that it would lift certain conditions for Canadian citizens and permanent residents looking to re-enter Canada from the U.S. or any other country.

Starting July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to enter Canada without having to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. However, they must still present a negative COVID-19 test.