The prime minister said Canada is “very eager” to move forward on next steps that would allow the tourism industry to accept international travellers, but did not provide a timeline.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was speaking at a child care press conference in Coquitlam, B.C., on Thursday (July 8).
Non-essential travellers have largely been barred from entering Canada by land and by air since March 2020, with an exception for citizens and permanent residents. Those categories recently had their mandatory quarantine lifted if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and two negative tests.
“That is a big step and it encourages everyone, also, to make sure that they’re moving forward with vaccinations,” Trudeau said.
“We’re very eager to move forward on next steps, and I hear (the) tourism industry is very eager as well, to start welcoming fully vaccinated tourists from around the world.”
Trudeau said the federal government is “going to make sure we’re moving forward with that in the coming weeks.”
However, unvaccinated tourists are unlikely to be welcome anytime soon.
“That’s not going to happen for quite a while,” Trudeau said, adding that the safety of Canadians will come first and foremost.
According to federal data, 75.6 per cent of Canadian 12 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 31 per cent are fully vaccinated. There are currently 5,481 active cases of COVID in Canada.